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FBI Conducting Training Exercise in Waverly Hills

by ARLnow.com September 24, 2012 at 9:45 am 5,397 55 Comments

The FBI is conducting a training exercise on the 4400 block of 16th Street N., in Waverly Hills, until about 4:00 p.m., according to an Arlington Alert.

The exercise inadvertently drew a large police response to the area when a 911 caller reported seeing a man dressed in camouflage with an assault rifle strapped to his back near Glebe Elementary School. Police searched the area and eventually discovered the training exercise, according to scanner traffic.

This is the third such FBI training exercise in Waverly Hills in the past year and a half.

File photo

  • drax

    FBI does exercise and doesn’t let local police know. Great.

    • or….

      or… ACPD didn’t roll out the message to all operators/officers. don’t jump to conclusions based off a 100 word article.

      • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

        where is that jump to conclusions mat when you need it?

        • DrTchock

          It would be this mat that you would put on the floor and would have different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO.

      • drax

        Good point.

    • Clarendon

      I know, that’s crazy. But, if they are going to do stuff like this they also need to be sure that all the people in the neighborhood are aware. Especially if that picture tells the story that it was some dude in camo and an unmarked truck running around.

      • malaka

        yeah or next thing you know some neigborhood vigilante is out there “standing his ground”

        • WeiQiang

          /\ this /\

        • OldYeller

          Yeah, where’s the “well-armed militia” when we really need it? If there’s a guy in camo with rifle in hand walking down my street, there better be some effin’ suppressive fire coming from the bedroom windows of my Yosemite Sam neighbors.

          • KalashniKEV

            When the time comes that we “really need it” you can guarantee that they will be there. (perhaps sooner than later)

            Only 3% of the Colonists took up arms against tyranny.

          • bubba

            who decides when the time comes that we “really need it” ? Rupert Murdoch? David Koch?

          • KalashniKEV

            If you run out in the street to rise up and take the country back, and you’re, like… the only one out there… then you know it’s too early…

          • doug drabek

            About as many took up arms for Tyranny.

        • Jackson

          Whenever I see FBI agents in camo cutting through my neighborhood, I shine a maglight at them. I suggest you do the same! Hey, where’s my dog?

  • TJLinBallston

    Who at the FBI couldn’t figure-out they might need to make a call to the Arlington Police and say: “Heavily-armed men in camouflage will be running around your elementary schools. Don’t worry.” Nope– that was too much to ask!

  • BluemontFred

    The Arlington Alert I received this morning said that the FBI contacted ACPD. I guess someone didn’t get that message.

    • nom de guerre

      The alert I received stated “The FBI will be conducting training in the 4400 Block of North 16th Street until 4 pm. The Arlington County Police are aware of this exercise. MAB/OEM”

      I don’t see where this alert says that the FBI contacted ACPD. Perhaps they became aware after the 911 caller contacted them.

      • really?

        “The Arlington County Police are aware of this exercise.”

        *blink* *blink* *scratches head*

        • CW

          No what he is saying is that due to the usual knock-out bang-up journalism by ARLnow, this article does not state WHEN the 911 call happened. Therefore, the possibility exists that the Arlington Alert was sent out AFTER the 911 call, with the 911 call possibly having been what “alerted” the police.

          • The alert was issued after the 911 call and police response.

          • Westover

            The alert came out at 8:59am

          • CW

            Thanks for the updates, sorry for the snark, and yeah I got the Alert but obviously we didn’t know when the 911 call was placed until now.

            So the answer is, no, the FBI did not proactively alert ACPD.

  • John

    Must be another teardown in the neighborhood. Just like the last one in the BCN Homes lot.

  • Josh S

    Nothing about this story sounds good or reassuring.

    Not notifying the police, yeah – bad idea. But what about not notifying the freaking public? SInce when does the FBI conduct “training exercises” that involve soldiers running around a residential neighborhood with guns drawn?

    So great, the Bill of Rights says we don’t have to house soliders in our homes, but we have to put up with them running around playing cops and robbers in our neighborhoods? Complete BS.

    • really?

      1) prove they didn’t tell ACPD – everything i have seen has said they notified ACPD.

      2) is it not important to have appropriately trained federal law enforcement officers in a high profile (targeted) part of the country?

      3) josh, you have bigger fish to fry with your precious rights now that we can kill citizens without due process, arrest people on petty charges if we don’t like a movie they post on youtube, lie and pass blame to a prior administration of a failed gun sting operation that ended up killing a federal agent, etc, etc.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Nonsense – let’s just continue jumping to conclusions and demeaning these guys by claiming they’re “playing cops and robbers”. Because clearly, that’s what they were doing. And the tie-in to quartering troops is so obvious – can’t believe someone else didn’t mention it already.

        • CW

          Since you appear to be the expert on these matters, I would like a detailed explanation of why an agency with an effectively limitless budget and lots of its own land needs to conduct these sorts of games in and around civilian homes.

          For one, since everyone and their sister got the Arlington Alert this morning, including potential bad guys, it endangers the public were someone to try to go after them.

          • Westover

            Reality that does not exist in combat towns that have to stand up to many many training events, and in which the operators have learned so much about that they pretty much have it covered. Training in the neighborhood adds a bit of randomness to the training.

          • speonjosh

            Combat towns?

          • Boon

            Forget it, he’s rolling

          • Ballston Resident
          • Quoth the Raven

            CW, Not sure if you were talking to me or not, because I’m far from an expert on police training. My point was that since we don’t know all the facts, let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s also not make snarky comments about the FBI as guys who run around playing.

            But I will say this: “limitless budget”??? Are you kidding me?

          • CW

            Yes, compared to other agency budgets or the private sector, the budgets for agencies that can scare us into think we’re not safe if we don’t give them money are effectively limitless.

          • Dodgson

            Ah, “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see”……

  • Becoming indifferent

    Why do they always seem to hold these exercises in Waverly Hills?

    • b

      ^ The only legitimate question here. ^

    • DNFjoe

      near one of their “safe houses?”

      3rd time in the neighborhood in 1.5 years? Or is that common to train in local neighborhoods? I thought the feds build Mock sites to pratice in.

      • Truman Show

        ” I thought the feds build Mock sites to pratice in.”

        What do you think that Arlington is ???

    • Westover

      A few agents live near by and so friends offer their homes up for training when they are remodeling.

    • DarkHeart

      How does this affect home values?

  • Westover

    Don’t everyone wet their pants at once.

  • Teacher

    Told or not told, I am glad that seeing a man dressed in camouflage with an assault rifle strapped to his back near Glebe Elementary School drew a large police response. I’d be more upset if it didn’t.

    • Clarendon

      Right, but the problem without proper public notification is apparent. The next time, maybe people will assume its some excercise and not call the police.

      • Josh S

        Perhaps one consideration as to why these kinds of exercises should not be conducted in public.

        really? above tries to make a point about having properly trained FBI personnel. I said nothing against properly trained FBI personnel. Just do it in your mockups down at Quantico. I fail to see how the added realism of doing it on the streets of Arlington is worth the increased risk of things going wrong when the local public and police don’t know what’s up. Or the imposition made on what should otherwise be a peaceful domestic neighborhood.

        Of course, the whole argument rests on the assumption that it is simply a “training exercise” which somehow smacks of coverup to me….

        • drax

          It’s a conspiracy!

        • Quoth the Raven

          A “coverup”? Now it’s some kind of conspiracy theory? Awesome!

    • Parent

      I am also glad that there was a police response. The principal of the school was very good to send home an explanation to parents of what happened this morning. Can you imagine Little Johnny coming home to tell his parents “There was a man with a gun at school?”.

  • DB

    Thank you for posting this–I wondered why so many ACPD cruisers went flying past me this morning on south Glebe.

  • sunflower

    today’s photo looks surprisingly like the one in the march article…


    • CW

      What part of “File Photo” doesn’t make sense?

  • Always a Fool

    Seriously? Didn’t the smell of donuts drifting through the neighborhood tip you off to the presence of law enforcement training in progress.

    I am glad that our fine police force eventually found the heavily armed people — eventually.

    • DCBuff

      I’m sure ACPD responded with great speed once they heard there were double-parked vehicles to ticket.

      • Dude Where’s My Car

        I didn’t think the Arlington towing companies would be able to handle an M1A2 Abrams weighted down with depleted uranium armor… but man… that tank was towed in 2 minutes.

  • Mr Neutron

    There is a reason that the FBI is known among law enforcement as “Famous But Incompetent.”

  • Dude Where’s My Car

    The FBI has a mock town at Quantico. It is big enough to have more than one Starbucks in it.

    This exercise was NOT training. It was a readiness exercise to see what would happen if random guys in camo with assault weapons just started running through a typical American suburb. The code name was Operation Red Dawn.

    They wanted to know how long it would take someone to call 911, and what the local law enforcement response would be. Also, they wanted to know what kind of traffic it would generate in the comments on local blogs.

    Congratulations! You all passed with flying colors. 😀


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