Coastal Trident 2015 Simulates Power Grid Outage

Annual Test Checks County Agencies’ Ability to Respond

An “asymmetric warfare” exercise set for Friday morning will test the mettle of several county emergency agencies and private sector utility providers following a simulated explosion aboard a seagoing vessel that somehow ends up turning off Santa Barbara’s power. The explosion part of the exercise happened on Thursday in Ventura, explained Alan Jaeger with the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Asymmetric Warfare located in Pt. Mugu. Friday’s simulation in Santa Barbara continues a multi-day, Southern California-wide session, which is an annual event.

The pretend action will take place near Goleta Beach and Mission Canyon, though the public may only notice a few extra County Fire battalion trucks or Sheriff’s cruisers parked, said Robert Troy of the county’s Office of Emergency Management. Formally named the Coastal Trident 2015 Regional Maritime Security and Response Program, the plan is to put roughly two dozen participants into a situation in which the Emergency Operations Center must be activated and communicate with agencies like Public Health, Fire, and the county chief executive’s office, and also with Cox Communications and SoCalEdison while power is down and Internet and wi-fi are dead. Sending and receiving thermal images from Flamesniffer and Strongwatch, as well as Helinet surveillance systems, are in the mix of tests, as is the ability to restore power.

What sounds like a script with serious plot-twist issues has a few more surprises in store, that Jaeger declined to describe. He laughed as he signed off, saying it wouldn’t be a test if the details were published beforehand.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Wife Recalls Husband’s Arrest By ICE Agents in Goleta

She said Jorge was convicted of a DUI 15 years ago but has stayed out of trouble ...

Supervisors Adopt New FEMA Flood Map for Montecito and Carpinteria

It’s not perfect, they say, but it will help people rebuild more safely.

Chumash Leaders Rebury Tuqan Man on San Miguel Island

Tests indicate the remains are between 9,700 and 10,200 years old

Eastside Group Tackles Diabetes

UCSB premed student steps up to fight childhood obesity.

Juana Holzer Testifies Against Ex-Husband

She denied Holzer showed any signs of mental illness during their six-year marriage.