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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   July 20, 2006

Release M-84-06






            The City and County of Honolulu will conduct “Poi Bowl 2006,” a full-scale exercise to evaluate Honolulu’s tactical interoperable communications, on Friday, July 28, 2006, at Aloha Stadium.

            Hundreds of personnel from City, state and federal agencies will participate in the exercise, which involves responding to a series of mock terrorist incidents in the vicinity of the stadium during a major athletic event.

            “Public safety is the top priority and responsibility of my administration, and the ability of our fire, police and EMS responders to communicate among themselves and with other agencies is obviously a vital necessity,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

            “The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate Honolulu’s Urban Area Security Initiative Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan,” said Gordon Bruce, director of the City Department of Information Technology. “We are testing our interoperable communications abilities with each other via the various radio systems and other methods when responding to a large-scale incident.”

            Bruce said the exercise will evaluate communications among responding agencies, dispatch centers and field commanders.

            Honolulu Fire Chief Kenneth Silva said, “The exercise is not about testing our response, but our ability to communicate as we respond.”

            The federal Department of Homeland Security requires UASI-designated urban areas to test their communications with this kind of exercise in order to qualify for federal grants.

            Mayor Hannemann said, “My understanding is that we are far ahead of most other cities with our communications plan. This full-scale exercise will give us a good look at how we put that plan into effect.”

            Hannemann added, “We’re glad to have the participation of state and federal agencies in this exercise, because they’ll be involved in the case of a real incident.”

            In addition to the exercise participants, there will several dozen federal, state and City observers, including a contingent from American Samoa.




            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-6928

Thursday, July 20, 2006

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