Terrorism course proves popular with federal managers

Federal executives are lining up to take an Army course that teaches strategies for coping with the management issues posed by terrorism.

The one-day course, developed by the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., provides a basic overview of chemical and biological weapons and strategies for continuity of operations planning. It also includes tabletop exercises that allow managers to practice responding to terrorist incidents.

Federal managers in Minnesota took the course in January, and since then Edgewood has offered the course to executives in Washington, Albuquerque, N.M., and Philadelphia. Edgewood officials are coordinating with federal executive boards across the country to plan future courses.

"What we see happening is, as more of the federal executive boards are hosting it, they are seeing the benefits of the course," said Lisa Foust, program officer with the Homeland Defense Business Unit at Edgewood. Officials with the Office of Personnel Management's Western Management Development Center and the Federal Emergency Management Agency helped Edgewood develop the course.

The next course will be held June 4 in Baltimore. Edgewood has scheduled additional courses in June for New York, Miami, and Honolulu.

The course is aimed at federal executives, not rank-and-file employees or local "first responders," the firefighters, police officers and emergency officials who are first on the scene of a terrorist attack.

The course costs $250 per person, with discounts for larger groups, according to Foust. Some federal executive boards have helped subsidize the cost for attendees.

Federal managers who would like to attend the course should contact their local federal executive board, or call Foust at (410) 436-5786.

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