Monday, January 17, 2022

Review - ChemLock Exercises – Chemical Sector Active Shooter

NOTE: This is part of a series of blog posts looking at various CISA Tabletop Exercises Packages (CTEP) offered to chemical facility managers by the new CISA ChemLock program, a voluntary chemical security program run by the Office of Chemical Security (the CFATS folks). It is a follow-up to my earlier Overview post. CTEP administrative documents can be found here. The scenario manuals can be found here. Earlier posts in the series include:

Chemical Sector IED (short version)

The Situation Manual for this exercise bills it as a review of “emergency preparedness plans and response procedures to an active shooter incident at a chemical sector facility.” It follows the same format as the IED exercise I previously discussed. Using the same format will make it easier for facilities to run subsequent exercises as they will already be familiar with the exercise processes.

The first Module is slightly more complex than that seen in the IED exercise. It provides two separate starting points for the exercise, a stolen vehicle and a disgruntled employee. Both starting points lead to an unidentified shooter arriving at the loading dock who is quickly killed by responding officers before the shooter can progress into the facility.

The exercise proceeds with the same question discussion format used int eh IED exercise. The second and third modules are nearly identical to the IED exercise in that they look at the short term and long term response to the incident. The same discussion questions are used in the second and third module as were used in the IED exercise.


Active shooter situations are becoming much more common in the United States. With that in mind, facilities certainly need to consider running exercises such as this. This scenario, as presented, could be run at any manufacturing facility. Unfortunately, it is billed as a “Chemical Sector Active Shooter” exercise, but it does not take into account any of the unique problems that chemical facilities could face in an active shooter situation. This exercise assumes that the shooter, their bullets and the bullets of the responders that take him down never enter an area of the facility that contain chemicals. While such a limited event could occur, that is not what a “Chemical Sector Active Shooter” exercise should address.

For more details about the exercise, including my suggested additional discussion questions, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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