NP: ‘Zombie Apocalypse in our Midst Revisited: ‘Mock’ Invasion Planned for all Military
By James W. Astrada
The Military is planning to assemble for preparation of a ‘mock invasion’ using zombies as the enemy. Located in San Diego, the counterterrorism summit will host hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, and firefighters in case of a zombie invasion. On any other day, this would be seen as entertainment; however, now that the nations defenses are involved this may be something to look at carefully.
Brad Baker, president of Halo Corp. (the security firm hosting this event) stated that this exercise was not intended for entertainment purposes and its major focus dealt with security issues during October 31st at Paradise Point Resort Island:
“This is a very real exercise; this is not some type of big costume party. Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn’t happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we’re having a little fun with.”
Although this event will include a ‘Walking Dead’ scenario with Hollywood style acting and effects, hundreds of law enforcement and medical personnel will view this as real for future training.
The event itself will include a situation where an important figure head (i.e. president, senator, etc…) will be placed behind enemy lines in a village surrounded by the undead and bomb explosions. The team in training will have to navigate through the debacle and avoid contamination by the zombies and avoid being shot at by other enemies while saving the VIP. Although this sounds similar to the PS3 or XBOX version of Call of Duty, there must be a reason for this type of set up. Medical personnel will be placed in the scenario to deal with how to transport any soldier or victim that has been bitten by the undead for ‘decontamination’ and ‘treatment’ purposes. Baker reiterated the importance of placing this situation in a more realistic setting rather than placing in the realm of entertainment:
“No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do. If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, ‘Freeze, get your hands in the air!’ What’s the zombie going to do? He’s going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he’s not going to react to you. No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it’s going to be a federal incident, so we’re making it happen. Since word got out about the exercise, they’ve had calls from “every whack job in the world” about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.”
If this is meant for preparing the U.S. for whatever comes our way in the near future, it seems that military and local police will be better prepared for any type of biological warfare or contamination scenario. With the events that have been happening earlier this year with cases of cannibalism across the country, training in this way may help avoid any harm to other citizens or those meant to protect us (whether using ‘bath salts’ or contamination due to biological hazards).
Although the exercise is a supposed collaborative effort by the CDC and Halo Corp. to push for the “emergency preparedness” effort, is there a chance for the common citizen to save themselves from an attack such as this? If the premise of treatment and decontamination are two factors involved in the exercise, can we assume there will be a vaccine or cure in case a ravenous virus mutates us into hungry bloodthirsty cannibals? Although the counterterrorism summit has been hosted by Halo Corp. since 2006, this will be the first zombie exercise taken seriously in the eyes of Homeland Security Grant Program and its project called the Urban Areas Security Initiative.
Even when the issues of spending came under fire, most were sympathetic to the program due to its real-world applications of preparing for any type of situation. Although most don’t believe in a zombie apocalypse scenario, most will “have fun” while training for any type of emergency disaster. Defense analyst Loren Thompson praised the program stating that this could be seen as asymmetric warfare that the Pentagon is investing in especially with technological advances and cyber-terrorism:
“The defining characteristics of zombies are that they’re unpredictable and resilient. That may be a good way to prepare for what the Pentagon calls asymmetric warfare. Organizers can also avoid the pitfalls of using a mock enemy who could be identified by nationality, race or culture — something that could potentially be seen as offensive. I can think of a couple of countries where the local leaders are somewhat zombie-like, but nobody is going to take this personally.”
Whether or not zombies or unruly citizens are the main concern, both will be nonresponsive to any type of martial law. As seen in any film of zombie genre, the military once ‘pacifying’ an area, kill anything in site regardless of infection. This event may have the entertainment guise most people will enjoy due to the love of the zombie pop culture; however there may more elusive in disguise. With an impending attack yet to happen overseas in the Middle East, it will be only a matter of time when civil unrest begins and riots begin pouring out into the streets. Police and military properly trained, will have an advantage over the “packs of zombies” running loose looking for supplies. When natural disasters happen like Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, many police and law enforcement officials engaged in heinous acts against their initial protocol of maintaining peace. Only many years later after the disaster subsided, were they prosecuted for their acts. What happens when the emergency is too grand and engulfs the entire country? What will happen to justice then? How can those relying on law enforcement for protection prepare for that kind of ‘training?’ Recently, a New York officer planned to cook and eat women after months of planning. Is this also what we have to look forward to during martial law or emergency disaster? Examples like these should question whether citizens should trust law enforcement officials with their lives in case of emergency situations. While not all act in disturbing ways, one will have to be vigilant and prepare for anything.
The Walking Dead series stated the obvious “fear the living, fight the dead.” At least during any type of disaster one can expect zombies to act accordingly for one purpose. The living on the other hand is rather unpredictable and usually bent on self-interest. The question now would be which one would you rather prepare for?
Julie Watson. “Marines, police prep for mock zombie invasion.” Yahoo News (October 2012).
Associated Press. “Police charged over post-Katrina bridge shootings.” BBC News US & Canada (July 2010).
Basil Katz. “New York police officer charged with plan to cook, eat women.” Reuters (October 2012).
Associated Press. “More police charged in post-Katrina shootings.” CBC News (July 2010).
© Copyright 2012. James Astrada.