CAPEX 2015 Exercise “Northern Lights”

April 2015

Project Summary

Beginning in January 2014, International Safety Research (ISR) started working with Defence Research and Development Canada's Centre for Security Sciences (DRDC CSS) and partners to develop CAPEX 2015 Exercise “Northern Lights”. This exercise is a capability exercise (CAPEX) that occurs every two years and involves national level response teams comprised of law enforcement and military specialists from Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. CAPEX allowed these teams to practice their response to complex scenarios involving chemical, biological, radiological and explosive threats (CBRNE). Northern Lights took place at the end of April 2015 at the RCMP's Technical Protective Operations Facility near Ottawa. ISR coordinated the design of the multi-day exercise, facilitated its execution and prepared the scientific after action review report for the international community.

ISR led the development of the exercise by co-chairing meetings with both Canadian and International Design Teams made up of representatives from the participating nations and Canadian organizations. Through these meetings, ISR helped facilitate the development of the objectives of the exercise, the design of the scenarios and the overall evaluation system. The ISR team, composed of internationally recognized experts, designed and built each one of the scenarios, including creating the necessary evidence in order for the teams to practice their forensic capability.

ISR provided controllers for the scenarios during the course of the exercise, managed the logistical operations of the five day exercise, including establishing a base camp and providing daily provisions, and coordinated the evaluation with a team of over one dozen international evaluators.

Following the exercise, ISR facilitated an after action review meeting which, combined with the results of the evaluation process, were used in a scientific analysis of the countries' response efforts.

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