Inside look at a staged attack on Fort Hamilton
It was a beautiful morning for a simulated attack at New YorkCity’s only active army base.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Friday, December 2, on-base security atFort Hamilton Army Base was called to the site of a dumpster firenear the fort’s chapel. A few minutes later, the call went out ofshots fired inside the Military Entrance Processing Station, whichat any given time can be filled with everyone from militarypersonnel to civilian applicants, family members and employees. Thefire may only have been a diversion.
At 10:15 a.m., a tan minivan came tearing across the front lawn,the doors opened and four police officers wearing bulletproofvests, helmets, goggles and shields jumped out, formed a line, andwent into the nondescript building. Loud popping noises could beheard from outside, where hostages would soon be running, and wherea few other reporters and I stood and awaited news.
In a normal situation, we wouldn’t have been there for theinitial response, and may not have been allowed to get as close aswe were then. But this was a drill and we were there on the lawnalong with waiting fire engines, police backup and ambulances fromLutheran Medical Center. Our job was as it always is: to observe,question and report.