Urban Shield in Austin TX – Expo Center Attacked by Bomb and Chemical Agent

Our Contact participated in the Drill. He wrote: “I just came back from Urban Shield in Austin. There were many mock-terror scenarios in Austin yesterday. I happened to be at the event at the Travis County Expo Center. They simulated blowing up the Pavilion, which is a small sports stadium at the Expo Center. The weapon used was supposedly a bomb with a chemical agent. Notice how they seem to be focusing on ‘terror attacks on sports stadiums’ a lot. Also, notice that sports stadiums just happen to be the ‘FEMA camps’ during natural disasters.”

Urban Shield is a nationwide anti-terror drill sponsored by DHS.


25 emergency agencies took Urban Shield training


Crews stage attack at Expo Center

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Hundreds of emergency responders swarmed the Austin area this weekend to learn how to handle some of the worst disasters possible. From building collapses to terrorist attacks, teams spread out across Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties for Urban Shield .

The Travis County Expo Center came under mock attack Saturday with a bomb explosion and a chemical agent to follow. Scattered across the lawn outside among the bloodied and bruised with stage makeup, Sam Dykes and her family waited for help.

“Trauma, severe trauma,” Dykes said, pointing to an oozing sore on her neck and scrapes across her forehead. “My husband’s dead.”

Holding her husband’s head in her lap, Dykes asked her father Bob Alexander about his broken arm. The former military man said he knows proper training means the difference between life and death.

“A lot of it’s inside buildings and with books and stuff like that, but to physically be able to do it, that’s the best thing for them,” said Alexander.

For the day, their lives were in the hands of emergency responders from 25 different agencies statewide.

“Agencies around the nation do this all the time (for things like) the Super Bowl, the World Series,” said Larry Jantzen, Austin Fire Department battalion chief over special operations and homeland security.

400 volunteers victims showed up Saturday morning to give those crews the most realistic scenario possible – a first for many responders.

“Different role players had different symptoms and reacted differently just as people would in real life,” said Greg Pyles, chief executive officer of TEXSAR Search & Rescue – the group who organized the victims.

Handling security, dowsing chemicals off the wounded and providing medical services. One by one, crews learned how to help and got better with every victim’s assistance.

“A lot of people don’t realize it’s going to be 45 minutes before somebody gets to you,” said Alexander.

“I wish they would’ve been quicker, but I guess that’s what happens in real life,” said Dykes.

Austin is one of three cities in the U.S. that has this Urban Shield training. 40 hours of training went into this weekend.


We’ve known of other exercises that have gone live either during [9/11] or around the time of the exercise with the most recent being the ‘Batman Theater Shooting’. It was reported that Colorado university staged an identical exercise the very same day of the deadly ‘Batman’ massacre where students were trained how to react to a gunman firing at people in a movie theater. See – Real life shooting imitates training exercise at Parker medical school [denverpost.com]

Urban Shield even has a video explaining “Why We Are Here!” which opens with clips of September 11 2001 and leads to other scenarios including Urban Warfare training. You can watch it here –

Cytel Group, Inc. will facilitate the training, planning, preparation, and execution of the Austin Urban Shield exercise. Cytel Group, Inc. will assist in all aspects of project management during the planning phase, act as an advisory group during the preparation phase, and provide overall evaluators during the execution phase.
Cytel Group, Inc., Castro Valley, CA, has successfully developed, coordinated, and managed the Urban Shield exercise in the San Francisco Bay Area Region since 2007 and has provided oversight and assistance to the Urban Shield exercises in New Orleans in 2009 and Boston in May 2011.

One comment

  • Good Day!

    I wrote an article about my experience, as a volunteer, in Urban Shield Austin. Good to see such good coverage on your site.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *