Exercises provide the opportunity for public safety personnel to practice and assess prevention, protection, response and recovery capabilities in a low risk environment.
The overall goal of participating in exercises is to gain an objective assessment of capabilities so that gaps, deficiencies, and vulnerabilities can be addressed prior to a real incident. Well-designed and well-executed exercises are the most effective means of:
- assessing and validating policies, plans, procedures, training, equipment, assumptions, and interagency agreements;
- clarifying roles and responsibilities;
- improving interagency coordination and communications;
- identifying gaps in resources;
- measuring performance; and
- identifying opportunities for improvement.
The State of New Mexico uses the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) as the methodology for designing, developing, conducting and evaluating exercises. The HSEEP is a capabilities- and performance-based exercise program that provides a standardized policy, methodology, and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. New Mexico’s HSEEP Matrix identifies the documents and submission timeline necessary for achieving HSEEP compliance.
The HSEEP methodology is based on a Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan which is developed/reviewed/revised at a yearly Training and Exercise Planning Workshop. The multi-year plan uses a progressive approach in which training and exercise activities focus on increasing competency in specific capabilities by escalating exercise complexity. Exercise types include Seminars, Workshop, Tabletop, Drill, Games, Functional and Full-Scale Exercises.