EADS security drill held

An emergency response exercise was conducted this morning at the Eastern Air Defense Sector at Griffiss park, with a simulation testing EADS’ ability to respond to a gunman at the facility.

The city police and fire departments participated in the drill, which began shortly after 9 a.m.

The exercise involved EADS’ central operations control center as well as its administration building, said spokesman Tim Jones. The public was not involved, but businesses at Griffiss may have noticed emergency vehicles heading to EADS as part of the exercise.

"The only way to prepare for emergencies is to train for them," Col. Dawne Deskins, EADS commander, said in a statement. The "active shooter exercise" was geared to "provide the hands-on training the unit requires and enable us to train closely with the City of Rome’s emergency services that would respond to this type of incident."

EADS, staffed by active-duty Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian forces detachment, monitors air traffic and is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the eastern United States; it supports North American Aerospace Defense Command/NORAD operations. EADS directs a variety of measures and assets to defend one million square miles of land and sea. It employs about 400.