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Homeland Security
Exercise and Evaluation
Program (HSEEP)
April 2013
PRE-DECISIONAL DRAFT
Intro-1
Contents
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW …………………………………………………………………………… INTRO-1
Purpose ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Intro-1
Role of Exercises …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Intro-1
Applicability and Scope …………………………………………………………………………………………………. Intro-2
Supersession …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Intro-2
How to Use This Document ……………………………………………………………………………………………. Intro-2
Revision Process……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Intro-3
1. HSEEP FUNDAMENTALS ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1-1
Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1-1
Fundamental Principles ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1-1
Exercise Program Management …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1-1
Exercise Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1-2
Exercise Design and Development ………………………………………………………………………………….. 1-3
Exercise Conduct ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1-3
Exercise Evaluation ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1-3
Improvement Planning …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1-3
2. EXERCISE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT ……………………………………………………………………….. 2-1
Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2-1
Engage Elected and Appointed Officials………………………………………………………………………………… 2-1
Multi-year Exercise Program Priorities ………………………………………………………………………………….. 2-1
Training and Exercise Planning Workshop ………………………………………………………………………. 2-2
Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan…………………………………………………………………………………… 2-3
Progressive Approach ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2-3
Discussion-Based Exercises……………………………………………………………………………………………. 2-4
Operations-Based Exercises……………………………………………………………………………………………. 2-5
Rolling Summary of Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2-6
Manage Exercise Program Resources ……………………………………………………………………………………. 2-7
Exercise Budget Management ………………………………………………………………………………………… 2-7
Program Staffing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2-7
Other Resources ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2-7
3. EXERCISE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT …………………………………………………………………… 3-1
Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3-1
Exercise Foundation ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3-1
Exercise Planning Team and Events ……………………………………………………………………………………… 3-2
Exercise Planning Team Considerations…………………………………………………………………………… 3-2
Exercise Planning Team Positions …………………………………………………………………………………… 3-3
Planning Activities ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3-4
Exercise Design ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3-9
Scope…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3-10
Exercise Objectives……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3-11
Evaluation Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 3-12
Scenario …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3-12
Exercise Documentation ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3-13
Media or Public Affairs Guidance …………………………………………………………………………………. 3-19
Exercise Development ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3-20
Planning for Exercise Logistics …………………………………………………………………………………….. 3-20
Planning for Exercise Control ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 3-22
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
i
Planning for Exercise Evaluation…………………………………………………………………………………… 3-25
4. EXERCISE CONDUCT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4-1
Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4-1
Exercise Play Preparation …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4-1
Setup for Discussion-Based Exercises ……………………………………………………………………………… 4-1
Setup for Operations-Based Exercises ……………………………………………………………………………… 4-1
Briefings………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4-2
Exercise Play ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4-2
Participant Roles and Responsibilities ……………………………………………………………………………… 4-3
Conduct for Discussion-Based Exercises …………………………………………………………………………. 4-4
Conduct for Operations-Based Exercises …………………………………………………………………………. 4-5
Contingency Process ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4-7
Wrap-Up Activities …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4-7
Debriefings…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4-7
Player Hot Wash …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4-7
Controller/Evaluator Debriefing ……………………………………………………………………………………… 4-8
5. EVALUATION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5-1
Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5-1
Evaluation Planning ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5-1
Evaluation Team …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5-1
Exercise Evaluation Guide Development …………………………………………………………………………. 5-2
Recruit, Assign, and Train Evaluators ……………………………………………………………………………… 5-3
Evaluation Documentation……………………………………………………………………………………………… 5-3
Pre-Exercise Evaluator Briefing ……………………………………………………………………………………… 5-4
Exercise Observation and Data Collection ……………………………………………………………………………… 5-4
Observation ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5-4
Data Collection …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5-4
Data Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5-5
After-Action Report Draft ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5-5
6. IMPROVEMENT PLANNING …………………………………………………………………………………………. 6-1
Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6-1
Corrective Actions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6-1
After-Action Meeting ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6-1
After-Action Report/Improvement Plan Finalization ……………………………………………………………….. 6-2
Corrective Action Tracking and Implementation …………………………………………………………………….. 6-2
Using Improvement Planning to Support Continuous Improvement ………………………………………….. 6-2
GLOSSARY OF TERMS ………………………………………………………………………………………. GLOSSARY-1
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS …………………………………………………………………..ACRONYM-1
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
ii
Introduction and Overview
Purpose
The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) provides a set of guiding
principles for exercise programs, as well as a common approach to exercise program
management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.
Exercises are a key component of national preparedness—they provide elected and appointed
officials and stakeholders from across the whole community with the opportunity to shape
planning, assess and validate capabilities, and address areas for improvement.
Through the use of HSEEP, exercise program managers can develop, execute, and evaluate
exercises that address the priorities established by an organization’s leaders. These priorities are
based on the National Preparedness Goal, strategy documents, threat and hazard
identification/risk assessment processes, capability assessments, and the results from previous
exercises and real-world events. These priorities guide the overall direction of a progressive
exercise program, where individual exercises are anchored to a common set of priorities or
objectives and build toward an increasing level of complexity over time. Accordingly, these
priorities guide the design and development of individual exercises, as planners identify exercise
objectives and align them to core capabilities 1 for evaluation during the exercise. Exercise
evaluation assesses the ability to meet exercise objectives and capabilities by documenting
strengths, areas for improvement, core capability performance, and corrective actions in an
After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP). Through improvement planning,
organizations take the corrective actions needed to improve plans, build and sustain capabilities,
and maintain readiness.
In this way, the use of HSEEP—in line with the National Preparedness Goal and the National
Preparedness System—supports efforts across the whole community that improve our national
capacity to build, sustain, and deliver core capabilities.
Role of Exercises
Exercises play a vital role in national preparedness by enabling whole community stakeholders
to test and validate plans and capabilities, and identify both capability gaps and areas for
improvement. A well-designed exercise provides a low-risk environment to test capabilities,
familiarize personnel with roles and responsibilities, and foster meaningful interaction and
communication across organizations. Exercises bring together and strengthen the whole
community in its efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all
hazards. Overall, exercises are cost-effective and useful tools that help the nation practice and
refine our collective capacity to achieve the core capabilities in the National Preparedness Goal.
1
Core Capabilities are distinct critical elements necessary to achieve the specific mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response,
and recovery. Capabilities provide a common vocabulary describing the significant functions required to deal with threats and hazards that must
be developed and executed across the whole community to ensure national preparedness.
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
Intro-1
Applicability and Scope
HSEEP exercise and evaluation doctrine is flexible, scalable, adaptable, and is for use by
stakeholders across the whole community. 2 HSEEP doctrine is applicable for exercises across
all mission areas—prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Using HSEEP
supports the National Preparedness System 3 by providing a consistent approach to exercises and
measuring progress toward building, sustaining, and delivering core capabilities.
HSEEP doctrine is based on national best practices and is supported by training, technology
systems, tools, and technical assistance. The National Exercise Program (NEP) is consistent
with the HSEEP methodology. Exercise practitioners are encouraged to apply and adapt HSEEP
doctrine to meet their specific needs.
Supersession
This 2013 iteration of HSEEP supersedes the 2007 HSEEP Volumes. The current version
reflects the feedback, lessons learned, and best practices of the exercise community, as well as
current policies and plans.
How to Use This Document
This document serves as a description of HSEEP doctrine. It includes an overview of HSEEP
fundamentals that describes core HSEEP principles and overall methodology. This overview is
followed by several chapters that provide exercise practitioners with more detailed guidance on
putting the program’s principles and methodology into practice.
The doctrine is organized as follows:

Chapter 1: HSEEP Fundamentals describes the basic principles and methodology of
HSEEP.

Chapter 2: Exercise Program Management provides guidance for conducting a Training
and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW) and developing a Multi-year Training and
Exercise Plan (TEP).

Chapter 3: Exercise Design and Development describes the methodology for
developing exercise objectives, conducting planning meetings, developing exercise
documentation, and planning for exercise logistics, control, and evaluation.

Chapter 4: Exercise Conduct provides guidance on setup, exercise play, and wrap-up
activities.

Chapter 5: Evaluation provides the approach to exercise evaluation planning and
conduct through data collection, analysis, and development of an AAR.

Chapter 6: Improvement Planning addresses corrective actions identified in the exercise
IP and the process of tracking corrective actions to resolution.
2
The whole community includes individuals, families, communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and Federal,
State, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
3
The National Preparedness System includes identifying and assessing risks; estimating the level of capabilities needed to address those risks;
building or sustaining the required levels of capability; developing and implementing plans to deliver those capabilities; validating and
monitoring progress; and reviewing and updating efforts to promote continuous improvement.
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
Intro-2
Revision Process
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) will review HSEEP doctrine and methodology on a biennial basis, or as otherwise
needed, to make necessary modifications and incorporate lessons learned.
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
Intro-3
1. HSEEP Fundamentals
Overview
HSEEP doctrine consists of fundamental principles that frame a common approach to exercises.
This doctrine is supported by training, technology systems, tools, and technical assistance, and is
based on national best practices. It is intended to enhance consistency in exercise conduct and
evaluation while ensuring exercises remain a flexible, accessible way to improve our
preparedness across the nation.
Fundamental Principles
Applying the following principles to both the management of an exercise program and the
execution of individual exercises is critical to the effective examination of capabilities:

Guided by Elected and Appointed Officials. The early and frequent engagement of
elected and appointed officials is the key to the success of any exercise program. They
provide the overarching guidance and direction for the exercise and evaluation program
as well as specific intent for individual exercises.

Capability-based, Objective Driven. The National Preparedness Goal identifies a series
of core capabilities and associated capability targets across the prevention, protection,
mitigation, response, and recovery mission areas. Through HSEEP, organizations can
use exercises to examine current and required core capability levels and identify gaps.
E …
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