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Florida Case Study - Heat Shield


Operation Heat Shield Full-Scale Exercises

The Operation Heat Shield Full-Scale exercises were conducted in response to the threat of complex, coordinated terrorist attacks at unique venues such as stadiums and airports.


Operation Heat Shield is a full-scale exercise testing regional agency coordination, response, and rescue efforts as emergency managers and responders are faced with complex coordinated terrorist attacks at several unique venues. In 2016 and 2018, Miami–Dade–Fort Lauderdale Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) conducted Operation Heat Shield I and II.

The Miami–Fort Lauderdale urban area used $102,449 in UASI funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 to conduct Operation Heat Shield I. In FY 2018, $91,380 in UASI funding was used to conduct


Operation Heat Shield, U.S. Coast Guard Miami Beach Station

Florida Operation Heat Shield Graphic

Operation Heat Shield II. Operation Heat Shield I tested Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and bomb team extraction capabilities, along with fire, medical, communications, and intelligence-sharing capabilities. The exercise took place across multiple locations, including Miami International Airport, Marlins Park, the courthouse, schools, and several other facilities. Miami designed the event to include 10 round- robin scenarios, with approximately 1,100 exercise participants. Miami conducted Operation Heat Shield IIi—a seven-scenario round-robin exercise—in May 2018. Miami focused on exercising capabilities not addressed in the first Operation Heat Shield, inviting even more stakeholders to participate in the exercise. The training included scenarios that tested response capabilities for active shooters, mass casualty situations, crowd control, and forensics. More than 200 on- duty deputies and EMS personnel were trained in techniques for rapidly moving wounded individuals away from cleared areas and preparing them for treatment and transport.ii

Operation Heat Shield III is planned for 2019 and will include a complex coordinated terrorist attack training component. The Miami–Fort Lauderdale UASI is coordinating with the FEMA National Exercise Division on this upcoming event. Operation Heat Shield III will be a full-scale exercise based on a scenario that includes a series of synchronized attacks on multiple high-value targets during the week of the Super Bowl. Exercise locations will include Port Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Palm Beach. The exercise will address previously identified preparedness gaps and will evaluate multiple core capabilities, including operational coordination, planning, operational communications, public information and warning, public health, healthcare and emergency medical services, and on-scene security, protection, and law enforcement.


FEMA, National Preparedness Assessment Division. Stakeholder Interviews with representatives from Florida. August and September 2018.