On Saturday, November 3, the Maryland National Guard will conduct what is called Operation Tourist Boom, a training operation set to prepare federal, state, and local agencies for how to handle emergencies such as active shooters, bombs, and other safety threats.
This training operation is designed to test the agencies’ abilities to coordinate a measured response to different types of emergencies that have occurred over the previous years in Ocean City and its surrounding areas.
It will involve local agencies such as Ocean City Emergency Services, the Ocean City Police Department, the Ocean City Fire Department and EMS, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Natural Resources Police, and U.S. Park Police from Assateague.
According to The Dispatch, allied federal, state and local agencies along with private sector groups and quasi-public organizations will be participating in the operation. This will include an active shooter exercise, a simulated vehicle assault with multiple casualties, a ship-boarding exercise off the coast, a simulated bomb detonation and a handful of other exercises will be part of the operation.
Over 1,000 participants are estimated to partake in this exercise simulating a large-scale emergency and terrorist attack.
Governor Larry Hogan will even be declaring a state of emergency and activating the Maryland National Guard to support civil authorities in law enforcement, security and decontamination efforts.
The whole idea of this training is to create situations that are as realistic as possible to prepare the Maryland National Guard for domestic incidents. There will be announcements put out just prior to the event to avoid panic from tourists and locals. So don’t be alarmed when you see mass amounts of helicopters, naval ships, and other agency vessels and crafts filling the land, sky, and waters of Ocean City next Saturday!