Is the military ready for zombies?

Alex Zavistovich made up as a zombie

Zombies, reanimated flesh-eating corpses, will attack soldiers and first-responders during a training exercise on Halloween. (Pictured: Maryland-based actor and public relations professional Alex Zavistovich, not connected with the training exercise, testing zombie makeup. Photo courtesy of Alex Zavistovich.)

Are our nation’s military and emergency personnel prepared for a zombie apocalypse?

We’ll find out on Halloween, as hordes of zombies attack a counterterrorism summit in California to be attended by Marines and Army and Navy personnel, along with police, firefighters and other first responders, the Associated Press reports.

"This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party," Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, told AP. Barker’s security firm is hosting the training demonstration that is taking place on Oct. 31, during the Halo Counterterrorism Summit in San Diego.

"Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn't happened all at once on the same night,” Barker said. “But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we're having a little fun with."

The scenario: A small group of people trapped in a village surrounded by zombies are forced to move through the town when a bomb injures one of the party. The zombies attack and the team has to fight them while trying to avoid being bitten.

Barker says the exercise is a serious drill, but with zombies substituting for more conventional enemies to add some Halloween fun to the event.

It’s not the first time the government has been involved in zombie-related exercises. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used a zombie apocalypse theme to issue a disaster preparedness guide. Earlier this year, the CDC issued another zombie-themed blog post based on the AMC series “The Walking Dead.”

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.


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