As part of an unannounced training exercise, the local guard force at the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti applied their training when a suspicious package and potential bomb threat was reported on the embassy compound. They activated an automated alarm that instructed chief of mission employees and visitors to move away from the windows while ducking and covering.
The alarm triggered a choreographed response by the DSS Regional Security Office and U.S. military partners from the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Crisis Planning Team, East Africa Response Force (EARF), and the Navy Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Team from Camp Lemonnier.
Marine Security Guards locked down the compound while the Regional Security Office gathered information about the threat and coordinated security procedures with the local guards, Marines and a surveillance detection team.
The Regional Security Office located the suspicious package in the bed of a pick-up truck parked on the embassy compound and called in the Navy explosives ordinance disposal team. The Navy team donned protective gear and used a robot to identify and secure the package while the Regional Security Office accounted for chief of mission employees and Marine Security Guards moved them to safe locations.
The package was planted as part of a simulation organized by the Regional Security Office, CJTF-HOA Crisis Planners, and Navy explosives ordinance disposal team leadership. Simulations such as this are critically important because they test the effectiveness of the response procedures in place to keep chief
of mission employees safe should a suspicious package on an embassy compound turn out to be a real threat.
Mission Djibouti remains committed to facilitating these innovative and realistic drills to actively prepare our emergency response assets for contingency operations when there are threats to chief of mission personnel, property, and information.