Army Corps, USCG to host spill exercise near Ballard Locks May 11

Published May 10, 2016

The exercise will depict a large oil spill threatening wildlife, aquatic species, shoreline habitat and nearby infrastructure. USCG 13th District Response and Advisory Team (DRAT) will instruct Corps’ personnel how to deploy containment booms from the Corps’ Marine Vessel Puget in accordance with the Northwest Area Contingency and Geographic Response Plans to capture and isolate the spill.

“This is a great opportunity for the crews to test their readiness and work together as we would in a real incident,” said Brian Wilson, Corps exercise coordinator.

The DRAT, a small group of active duty and civilian personnel with spill management, response equipment and response techniques expertise, will expand on the Corps’ training, enhancing their abilities if needed in a real-world event.

Participants will practice roles and responsibilities, test response capabilities, learn boom deployment techniques and talk through appropriate command management structures. Practicing these skills will help identify strengths and those weaknesses that need work.

The Corps recently acquired some of the spill response equipment the DRAT maintains throughout the region. This exercise helps build a close working relationship and gives the Corps valuable training on the equipment.

“The DRAT members in-depth knowledge of the Pacific Northwest's unique environmental and geographic features makes them an indispensable resource for technical and logistical support,” Wilson said. “Exercises like this are a good way to learn each other’s capabilities and let the public know the work we do to ensure their health and safety,” Wilson said.

Bill Dowell
Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener

Release no. 16-016