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Previous National Level Exercises

National Level Exercise 2018

National Level Exercise (NLE) 2018 brought together more than 12,000 individuals across the whole community to examine the ability of all levels of government, private industry and nongovernmental organizations to protect against, respond to, and recover from a major Mid-Atlantic hurricane. Additionally, more than 450,000 individuals participated in personal preparedness activities and accountability drills as part of the exercise.

Over the first two weeks of May, NLE 2018 provided a unique chance to examine lessons from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria last fall to improve operations and coordination across all levels of government, the private sector, and the public in advance of the 2018 hurricane season. This is captured in the NLE 2018 Conduct Executive Summary.

The exercise scenario involved a major hurricane that made landfall near Hampton Roads, Virginia, causing severe damage to residences, businesses, and critical infrastructure throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Fictional Hurricane Cora included power outages and cascading effects, with impacts to communications, transportation, water and public works.

NLE 2018 National Level Objectives included:

  • Pre-Landfall Protective Actions
  • Sustained Response in Parallel with Recovery Planning
  • Continuity in a Natural Disaster
  • Power Outages and Critical Inter-Dependencies

The findings included in the NLE 2018 After-Action Report Executive Summary reflect exercise play and identify several opportunities for improvements to real-world operations for future hurricane response efforts. The findings from NLE 2018 will contribute to the nation's efforts to meet the National Preparedness Goal - a secure and resilient nation - with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.

Capstone 2016

Capstone Exercise 2016 examined authorities and capabilities needed to ensure our nation’s ability to prevent terrorist acts against the homeland, coordinate the response to a catastrophic incident, communicate to the American people, and continue performing essential government functions during a disaster. Capstone 2016 involved a series of five events. The exercise began with an analysis of threats originating abroad and then transitioned into a domestic crisis management and emergency response exercise.

Capstone 2014

Capstone Exercise 2014 was a complex emergency preparedness exercise comprised of five distinct, but linked, component events. The Alaska Shield 2014 exercise, sponsored by the State of Alaska to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake, provided the central scenario elements: significant damage from both the quake and the tsunami it triggers affect the greater Pacific Northwest. Capstone Exercise 2014 included several preparedness activities sponsored by other departments and agencies and was designed to educate and prepare the whole community for complex, large-scale disasters and emergencies.

National Level Exercise 2012

NLE 2012 was a series of exercise events that examined the ability of the United States to execute a coordinated response to a series of significant cyber incidents. NLE 2012 emphasized the shared responsibility among all levels of government, the private sector, and the international community to secure cyber networks and coordinate response and recovery actions. NLE 2012 was focused on examining four major themes: planning and implementation of the draft National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP), coordination among governmental entities, information sharing, and decision making.