DPS, FBI and Local Agencies Partner for Mass Casualty Training Exercise

Law enforcement wearing riot gear detaining someone
Photo credit Texas DPS

AUSTIN – On Oct. 26 and 27, 2023, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) joined with federal, state and local partners for the 2023 Texas Statewide Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack (CCTA) Full-Scale Exercise.

The CCTA exercise was more than a year in the making, requiring extensive planning and coordination. DPS worked closely with the four Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Field Offices in Texas along with many other agencies at the state and local level – including law enforcement, emergency management, public health and other partners – to plan and execute the exercise.

“This type of realistic and demanding exercise is critical for testing and maintaining our level of preparedness,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The CCTA exercise strengthens collaboration and partnerships among agencies at all levels that will need to work together in real-life situations to save lives and protect Texans. I have no doubt we are better prepared today than we were a few days ago because this training took place.”

Approximately 1,000 people participated at six locations across the state. Locations included Prosper, The Woodlands, El Paso, Lubbock and San Antonio. The DPS Operations Center at Austin Headquarters also served as the command center for state-level law enforcement response.

The overall exercise scenario was centered around coordinated attacks against school-based targets including K-12 schools, colleges or universities and mass gatherings. Each simulated attack was unique and involved different players and assets working together.

CCTA exercise participants focused on intelligence analysis and sharing; multi-agency incident response; operational communications; emergency medical operations; dissemination of information to the public; family reunification; and other issues that are critical in real-world settings.