Pinnacle Exercise Tests Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plans

As part of the ongoing efforts to test and improve the country's ability to perform essential government functions during threats and emergencies, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal departments and agencies have been testing their continuity of operations (COOP) plans during Exercise PINNACLE, a four-day exercise conducted June 20-24.

The exercise allows federal officials to implement COOP plans, test communications connectivity, and demonstrate that essential functions can be effectively conducted during threats and emergencies.

Similar to the "Forward Challenge" exercise conducted in May 2004, Exercise PINNACLE includes a hypothetical terrorism scenario and accompanying emergencies that require COOP activities to be conducted by the federal government. The Exercise scenario is not based on any specific threat or intelligence information.

Unlike the recent TOPOFF Exercise, which involved real-life response capabilities using assets and personnel from federal, state and local governments, Exercise PINNACLE will simply test operations and procedures for performing essential government functions during threats and emergencies.

"Assuring the ability of the federal government to continue its essential functions is good government," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Threat situations, domestic attacks, and natural disasters all present challenges to our federal operations, and Exercise PINNACLE provides a demanding scenario to test our essential functions and assure their continuation."

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