Obama-Bush Teams To Stage 'Disaster' Exercise 1-9-9
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The outgoing White House administration will next week hold a joint "disaster scenario" exercise with top members of the incoming team of president-elect Barack Obama, US officials said Friday.
"I'm not going to go into the details of it, but it is a disaster scenario where the government would be very much tested," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
"It is an exercise scenario, a hypothetical scenario that is designed to test and tax the capabilities of the federal government," he added.
He did not specify whether Obama or vice president-elect Joe Biden would take part in Tuesday's three-hour long exercise, saying merely it was part of regular training events and had not been motivated by any specific threat.
A huge security blanket is being thrown over Washington for Obama's inauguration on January 20, with up to two million people planning to converge on the US capital to witness the nation's first African-American president being sworn into office.
"It is a very public event ... and one that gathers, you know, leaders in a very small environment, essentially. So obviously we have a lot of concern about it," Stanzel said.