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Large-scale counterterrorism drill plays out in Louisville

Operation Thunderstruck took place Friday at Cardinal Stadium.
Operation Thunderstruck took place Friday at Cardinal Stadium.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 2:18 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A large-scale counterterrorism training exercise, spanning across Louisville and Southern Indiana, happened Friday.

It included agencies from across Kentucky and Indiana, teaming up to practice responding to a potential terror attack in real time.

“Cellphones may be down, our radio system may be down, so we’ve got to work all those communication systems out,” Louisville Emergency Services Director Jody Meiman said.

Meiman said in the event of a terrorist attack on a large venue, like Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium, there’s no time to panic. In Friday’s scenario, there’s an ongoing attack in Southern Indiana, too, so there’s no relying on outside help for any of it.

“Normally, we’d be able to provide resources to them, or they’d be able to provide resources to us,” Meiman said, “but because we’re going through the same thing, we’re going to have to go deeper in our own individual states to get those resources.”

The FBI, FEMA, ATF, local police, fire and EMS all were involved.

ATF Louisville Special Agent in Charge Shawn Morrow said you can never be too prepared when it comes to knowing what you’re going up against.

“Critical incident can be large and small,” Morrow said. “We don’t know what a criminal may be up to, so it’s important for us to be able to consider all types of incidents, all types of challenges, and that’s the real benefit of working these exercises.”

Morrow said it’s also important to understand what all the other agencies are capable of in a situation like this and how they can help if needed.

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