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Exercise Silver goes for gold

If you see an increase in the number of military crafts in the skies and waters and on land around Vancouver next week, there’s no need for alarm.

If you see an increase in the number of military crafts in the skies and waters and on land around Vancouver next week, there’s no need for alarm.

The second of three full-scale security exercises ahead of the 2010 Olympics is beginning on Feb. 9 in Whistler and the Lower Mainland.

Exercise Silver, a series of drills taking place over 10 days, is designed to test security, safety and emergency responses to incidents that might arise during the Games, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bud Mercer, COO of the V2010 integrated security unit.

The program includes around 1,000 participants from all levels of government, police, military and emergency services.

“Scenarios include criminal (and terrorist) activity, weather, health, seismic, marine and aviation (problems),” Mercer said.

In one exercise, personnel will perform pedestrian and vehicle screening tests at the ISU Four Continents figure skating championships, which started yesterday in Vancouver.

Rear Admiral Tyrone Pile, with the Canadian Forces, said Olympics security is often called the “largest and most complex” peacetime security effort in the world.

“Success comes not only from planning but practice,” he said. “Exercise Silver coincides with the one-year countdown to the Games to practise in environmental conditions similar to those we’ll see a year from now.”

 
 
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