Drill simulation exercise on cross-sectoral collaboration


4. 7. 2024


Work Package on Cross-sectoral collaboration: Law enforcement, Civil protection, Health  (WP6) under the framework of the Joint Action (JA) TERROR, organised an on line international cross-sectoral drill simulation exercise (SIMEX), named “Black Mirror”, on 18th June 2024. Participants from fourteen European JA partner countries worked through a fictional scenario of a terrorist attack with a biological agent, Yesinia pestis. The aim of the exercise was to test and assess cross-sectoral collaboration at decision-making level in the areas of strategic preparedness, threat detection and response, risk communication and cross-sectoral coordination between public health, law enforcement–security and civil protection in case of a biological terror attack, and provide opportunities to validate existing coordination mechanisms and identify strengths, gaps and areas for enhancement.

The design of this drill exercise took on board the results from previous tasks carried out by WP6: Country Survey (D6.1), baseline tabletop Simulation Exercise (D6.2), Desk Research (D6.3) and Workshop (D6.4).

In opposition to the baseline exercise, which took place on June 2023 in Madrid and had a tabletop format, this final drill exercise was performed simultaneously in all 14 countries in a real working environment, as close as possible to the real structures in place, in order to enable cross-sectoral contacts during the exercise and information exchange emulating a real situation.  Information exchange occurred via email and videoconferences organized by participants when relevant. In addition to the participants, there was one evaluator per country who received all injects addressing the three sectors and the responses of the participants of its own country. They evaluated the performance and replies inject by inject.

In relation to the previous baseline tabletop simulation exercise, the countries demonstrated high-level of awareness and cross-sectoral collaboration in the key preparedness and response areas. All countries had in place collaboration for cross-sectoral information sharing and communication, especially in the mass-gathering-related context, using cross-sectoral preparedness and response plans, cross-sectoral crisis-coordination committees, joint risk assessment and joint risk communication. Regarding proposed actions for improvement, national strategic stockpiles development, joint training and exercises at national level and formalized bilateral countries agreements for surge capacity were identified.

Now the detailed results and conclusions of this drill exercise are under analysis and the report (D6.6) will be submitted in September 2024.