NASA’s Protective Services organization is tasked with protecting one-of-a-kind facilities and a world-class workforce at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Ensuring the safety and security of this 144,000-acre, multi-user spaceport allows agency programs to stay focused on mission success.
It’s a 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year job that demands constant training for any number of real-life scenarios. Last week, eight members of Kennedy Space Center’s Emergency Response Team took part in the 33rd annual SWAT Round-up International alongside 60 other teams from across the country and around the world.
“The entire week is very physically demanding and challenging. The teams competing in these events are all very good and some dedicate much of their training time specifically for this competition,” explained Emergency Response Team Commander Bill Young of Chenega Security and Support Solutions.
Although the Kennedy team does train specifically for the competition in the weeks leading up to the five-day event, it spends the vast majority of the year focusing on protecting the spaceport.
“Our training time is spent on site preparing for responses to potential critical incidents that might occur here,” Young said, pointing out that the greatest benefit to participating in the annual Round-up is the chance to meet and work with other teams.
“With the threats and challenges that exist for law enforcement today, it’s short sighted to think any SWAT team can handle it all alone,” Young said.
“The ability for our officers to effectively communicate and even integrate with other teams during a crisis is a force multiplier for our Protective Services, which benefits our center and the entire community.”
Photos by NASA/Kim Shiflett