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Tabletop Exercise

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

As a Plant Manager for the United States Postal Service, one of the activities we did on a regular basis were Tabletop Exercises. For example, one of the exercises was a biological agent being released into the mail stream. Part of the process is to shut down all equipment, move all employees to a safe location, and bring in the appropriate government agencies, such as the fire and police department, FEMA and other local agencies, to participate in the exercise. We even go through the entire process of washing down the bodies of volunteer employees as if exposed to the biological agent. Eventually, there is an orderly move back into the building to resume our daily workload. Table Top Exercises are done to provide education and training, and to take from that exercise, an after-action plan, to minimize error and reduce risks.

On January 6, 2021 when thousands of pro-Trump protestors stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C. to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes from the states to confirm the election of Joe Biden as President, it appeared to me the domestic terrorists were doing an exercise. If their objective was to disrupt this process, then they indeed disrupted the confirmation of the electoral college vote. This didn't, however, stop Congress from doing its job. Congress confirmed Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris as the Vice President.

When I heard and saw the storming of the Capitol, my first thought was, “Is this a tabletop exercise?” If so, it means the terrorists will go back to the table, do an after action plan and try to do better next time. It also should mean U.S. security forces will do the same. It is my hope their plan is better than the terrorists’ plan. In listening to some of the news agencies today, one newscaster said she had spoken to one of the domestic terrorists and was told ‘the next time we come back, it will be with weapons.’ In America, there are 350 million people and 350 million guns so the threat should be taken literally.

While I’m sure the domestic terrorists are going back to regroup and Congress is also regrouping, what I really wanted to write about was the Georgia election. And after all of this, this whole day of unprecedented action, I still do have Georgia on my mind. Thank you, Georgia, for coming through. Your tabletop exercise in November paid off today with the election of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Today, we walk away with a Democratic president-elect, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House. Your work today will help to save democracy for the American people. About 11 days to go.

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