The Phase two of 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic security exercises will be underway from Feb. 9 to 13 across Vancouver and Whistler to ensure the safety and security of the upcoming two-week games, a senior officer said Monday.
"We are less than one year away from becoming operational. Exercise Silver and the overall exercise program play a vital role in ensuring game-time readiness," said RCMP Assistant Commissioner, Bud Mercer, also Chief Operating Officer of the games' Integrated Security Unit, at a news briefing in Vancouver Monday afternoon.
"These shared exercises help develop and validate capabilities arising from the cooperative efforts and interoperability of various agencies and government departments from all levels," he said.
Exercise Silver is part of the Olympic Integrated Exercise Program, which is designed to ensure coordinated responses are sufficiently tested in preparation for incidents that might arise during the 2010 Winter Games.
The program has three key components. Exercise Bronze was held in November 2008 and examined security structures. Exercise Gold is scheduled for November 2009 and will confirm readiness for the Games.
Much of Exercise Silver is focused on information-sharing across government and non-governmental agencies and will therefore be out of the public eye. Other parts of the exercise will provide safety and security participants with hands-on experience.
The 21st Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 12-28 in 2010 in Vancouver and Whistler. The Games' security is being undertaken by the Integrated Security Unit, a cross-jurisdictional group that brings together police, soldiers, sailors, airmen, border guards and customs agents. It is led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police(RCMP).
Canadian federal government says the games security will cost somewhere between 400 million and 1 billion Canadian dollars, but it has yet to announce a final figure.