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Mission Bay Island Turned Into National Security Training Ground

— Government agencies, emergency responders and major corporations from around the nation and world are in San Diego to get a peek at the latest in security practices. Mission Bay's Paradise Point vacation resort was transformed by the California-based HALO Corporation, a private security firm, into a training ground. The idea is to help stakeholders preserve access to critical resources in emergency situations.

Mission Bay's Paradise Point is a laboratory for national security training this week.

"It is thinking globally and acting locally and using technology as a force multiplier to mitigate risk and keep everybody safe," said Brad Barker, HALO Corporation's president.

The conference will expose participants to some of the tools and training methods that are out there. Barker's analogy involves teaching children how to swim.

"Would you like them to watch the swimming video or read the swimming book, or do you want them to get in the pool and actually learn how to swim? So what we're doing here is a completely immersive, experiential type of scenario," said Barker.

The set pieces are designed to create a realistic atmosphere so the people who are training in the environments actually feel what's going on. That includes using real guns that shoot fake ammunition.

"Whatever they shoot in their actual operations, we want to be able for them to shoot it here," said Steve Didier of Phoenix RBT Solutions, LLC.

It also involves setting up repeatable training scenarios that simulate situations security forces might encounter. Tony Lambraia leads a team through a building. They clear each room before moving on.

"Everybody can be a great shooter on the range, when you're breathing and pulling the trigger real slow. But are you a good shooter when it comes down to it and someone is shooting back at you?" said Lambraia.

Participants also get a look at the latest security gear at hands-on exhibits. They include surveillance gear, body armor and tactical robots. The event runs through Friday and is not open to the public.

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