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Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is holding an active shooter training exercise this morning.

The exercise is being held from 9 a.m. to noon. Locals should expect at least one of the base’s gates — the one near the Sheraton hotel along Columbia Pike — to be closed periodically during the exercise.

From the JBMHH public affairs office:

Please be advised that emergency response activity may be seen at the base and in the surrounding communities during the exercise.

Henderson Hall Gate 1, off Southgate Road and S. Orme Street in Arlington, will be closed intermittently between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. during the exercise.

All other gates, to include Hatfield and Wright Gates, will remain open.  Drivers to the base should plan to use the other gates between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. to avoid the Gate 1 closure.  As a reminder, both Henderson Hall Gate 1 and Wright Gate are for DoD ID card holders only.

Please refer to JBM-HH Facebook at www.facebook.com/jbmhh for additional updates.

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Long line for Garrett Popcorn Shop in Pentagon City MallIn the wake of the tragic events in Orlando, police are holding an active shooter training exercise in one of the most consistently crowded places in Arlington.

The training exercise will be held at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight.

“The purpose of the exercise is to test the response of Arlington County’s public safety agencies and mall staff in a simulated emergency situation,” ACPD said in a press release.

Training activities will be confined to the interior of the mall and there will be a large number of public safety vehicles in the area surrounding it. They will not use lights or sirens during the exercise.

As a result of the training, pedestrian access to the mall will be restricted after 6 p.m. and parking at the mall will be limited

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Morning Notes

Cloudy view of the District from Arlington House (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Board Candidates Debate, Find AgreementUpdated at 12:30 p.m. — The four candidates for Arlington County Board participated in a candidates forum organized by the Arlington Forest Civic Association last night. The candidates found agreement on two notable issue: affordable housing shouldn’t be built on parkland — or, at least, certain parkland — and county property taxes shouldn’t be raised at this time. [Washington Post]

JPod Meeting on the Pike — The man behind a proposal to bring a monorail-like pod transportation system to Columbia Pike made his case to residents and to County Board Vice Chairman Walter Tejada at the Walter Reed Community Center last night. There are still several potential deal-breaking questions about the feasibility of the proposal. [InsideNova]

Teachers Training on Digital Devices — Arlington Public Schools continues to train teachers and educate parents about the use of digital devices like iPads and MacBooks in schools. APS is continuing its rollout of “personalized” devices, with the goal of each student having their own device. [Arlington Public Schools]

Exercise Helped Real-World Response at VHC — Arlington County says that an emergency response exercise at Virginia Hospital Center two years ago greatly helped the real-world response to a fire at the hospital last week. Evacuations of patients went smoothly and no one was hurt. [Arlington County]

GOP Presidential Candidate in Arlington TodayLong-shot Republican presidential candidate and former New York governor George Pataki will be speaking at George Mason University’s Arlington campus this afternoon. The speech on domestic and foreign policy is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at GMU’s Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive).

Another South Arlington School Site Identified — A county working group is continuing its effort to identify a preferred site for a new elementary school in South Arlington, to be built by 2019, but in the meantime the group has identified a potential future school site. The South Arlington Working Group says a school could be built by 2024 on parcels of land that currently include the Aurora Hills Community Center, Virginia Highlands Park and a portion of the RiverHouse apartment complex. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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US Airways jetliner at Reagan National AirportDon’t be alarmed if you see what appears to be an aircraft accident at Reagan National Airport on Saturday (September 21). It’s part of a planned emergency preparedness exercise.

From 8:30 a.m. until around noon, the simulation will test the airport’s emergency response teams. Airport and airline staff, hospital staff and other emergency personnel will receive hands-on training during the aircraft accident simulation.

Emergency personnel will perform the exercise in the secured airfield operations section of the airport, so normal passenger flights will not be affected.

Staff will respond as if the simulation is a real emergency, including using sirens and firefighting equipment. To add realism to the simulation, a training aircraft will be ignited, boats will deploy, helicopters will respond and nearly 150 volunteers will play patients who need to be rescued from a U.S. Airways aircraft and transported to the hospital.

Some parts of the exercise might be seen or heard from areas near the airport, such as Route 1, George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-395 and along the Potomac River.

File photo

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CERT training class (courtesy photo)Sign up has begun for fall sessions of the county’s free emergency preparedness classes.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training instructs attendees on how to respond when an emergency occurs. The skills learned can be used in a variety of situations that could occur at home — including fires and medical emergencies — as well as community situations — such as terrorist attacks, hurricanes and tornadoes.

More than 600 Arlington residents have completed the training, and they are sometimes called upon by the county to assist when emergencies occur — like during last summer’s derecho storm.

Two fall sessions will be available, one beginning on September 12 and another on September 17. Each session includes eight classes. There is limited space and advanced registration is required by sending an email to [email protected]

The classes are open to Arlington residents and those who work in the county but reside elsewhere. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, or 16 if accompanied by a parent. All classes meet at the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) Training Academy in Shirlington and are taught by ACFD and Office of Emergency Management staff, along with CERT members.

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Morning Notes

Untitled (Flickr pool photo by J Sonder)

Street Lighting Complaints Continue — At its meeting on Saturday, the County Board addressed the complaints it continues to receive over the new LED streetlights being installed throughout the county. The Board has heard a number of types of complaints, including the lights casting a harsh glow and being too bright. County Manager Barbara Donnellan acknowledged the complaints but didn’t have any immediate solutions. She said the new lights save a lot of money. [Sun Gazette]

Red Truck Bakery Profile — Earlier this month, web magazine Slate — a division of the Washington Post Company — profiled Arlington resident Brian Noyes, the founder of Red Truck Bakery. Noyes restored a Cherrydale farmhouse and began his bakery business there while still working for Smithsonian magazine. He began in 2009 by selling goods out of the back of a 1954 Ford pickup truck and eventually found a brick and mortar location to work in Warrenton. Noyes, who has baked treats for the likes of President Obama, plans to open a new location in The Plains soon. [Slate]

NORAD Exercise Tonight — Arlington residents may hear unusual noises tonight as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducts training exercises. The training flights are designed to hone NORAD operations and to test its systems and personnel. The flights are scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m. and run through 5:30 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). [U.S. Department of Defense]

Flickr pool photo by J Sonder

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CERT training class (courtesy photo)From fires to health scares to severe storms, emergencies can occur at any time and being prepared is key. Arlington County is offering free classes to train residents how to help themselves and others if an emergency occurs.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training began 10 years ago in Arlington and 575 residents have completed the program in that time. The hands-on training covers topics such as disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, fire suppression and terrorism.

One example of what CERT members do was evident last June during the derecho. Members assisted the community in various capacities immediately following the storm, often as points of contact when calls weren’t getting through to 911.

CERT training class (courtesy photo)“We had people strategically posted at fire stations to dispatch the right help to where it was needed,” said Arlington County Office of Emergency Management Director Jack Brown. “The community response teams, CERT, they really stepped up to the plate.”

There are two training sessions scheduled for next month, one beginning on March 7 and the other on March 12. Each session includes eight classes which will meet on six weeknights and two Saturdays. All classes meet at the Arlington County Fire Department Training Academy in Shirlington and are taught by ACFD and Office of Emergency Management staff, as well as active duty CERT members.

Advance registration is required to participate in the classes, and there are still some spots left for the March training. Those interested should email the program’s volunteer coordinator, Cynthia Kellams, at [email protected] Participants must be Arlington residents who are at least 18 years old.

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The Arlington County Police Department will be holding a SWAT training exercise in the Donaldson Run neighborhood tomorrow.

The exercise is expected to involve officers using paintball guns and flash grenades. Residents in the area should expect some loud noises and the presence of numerous police vehicles.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s (ACPD) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team will be conducting a training exercise at 3963 N. 26th Street on Tuesday, October 23rd between 6:00 am – 3:00pm. The purpose of the training is to simulate real life situation and a coordinated response in your neighborhood.

There will be no live ammunition used in this exercise. However, realistic looking training weapons that shoot paint projectiles will be utilized. Noise flash diversionary devices may also be utilized during this exercise. These devices will make considerable noise but do not dispense any munitions. The noise may be upsetting to small children, pets or those with sensitive hearing. If someone in your household falls into one of those categories we ask you take precautions you believe are appropriate.

Numerous Police vehicles will be parked in the area. These vehicles will not block any driveways or the right of way on the road. Should a vehicle need to be relocated because it is blocking your access, please contact one of the on-scene control officers for assistance. The control officers can be identified by the bright yellow traffic control vests they will be wearing.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Realistic training is critical to enhancing our capabilities to serve and protect you to the best of our ability. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

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(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) A couple of training exercises will be taking place in Arlington today and tomorrow.

An Arlington County Police Department training exercise has been ongoing since 6:00 a.m. in the 3900 block of N. 26th Street. Explosive Ordnance Disposal units will join the SWAT team for the joint training exercise. It will continue until about 3:00 p.m. today and isn’t expected to cause much disruption to residents.

Tomorrow (Wednesday), neighbors around Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (JBM-HH) might hear some noise during a “force protection” exercise from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. There will be real and simulated training responses for personnel there, including lockdowns and gate closures. There may also be sirens, blank cannon fire and simulated emergency announcements on the outdoor speaker system.

A number of first responder units, including police and firefighters, will be on base for the training. Residents should not be alarmed at seeing this large emergency presence, or any of the personnel who may be wearing makeup to simulate wounds.

More information will be provided as necessary on the JBM-HH Facebook page and Twitter site.

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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

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A military training exercise may cause some extra noise today near the National Guard Readiness Center on the 100 block of S. George Mason Drive.

Military training exercises will be taking place at the National Guard center throughout the day. As part of the drill, residents — especially those in the Barcroft and Alcova Heights neighborhoods — may notice a helicopter landing and taking off in the field at Arlington Hall West Park around 11:00 a.m. and again at 3:25 p.m. Park visitors are advised to avoid the area around these times.

Police officers and firefighters will be in the area to provide assistance as necessary. There are no traffic disruptions or noises expected during the training exercise, other than the helicopter, we’re told.

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