Color and thermal images of power plants and other key infrastructure items were beamed back to the command center at Gallipolis Ferry from more than 15 miles away.
A 25-foot response boat from the Barboursville Coast Guard station piloted by coxswain Barry Cliborn was among watercraft taking part in the exercise.
"We have three of these in the Port of Huntington, which covers about 430 miles of river from Portsmouth to Marietta," he said. "When we patrol, we do everything from checking boater safety and reporting visible pollution to making sure the power plants and fuel depots are secure."
The aluminum patrol boats, powered by twin 25-horsepower outboards, carry a crew of three and can reach speeds of more than 50 miles per hour.
Although a desktop exercise involving a response to runaway barges on the Ohio River was held during a morning session at Wednesday's VIPR event, the drill involved no accident or attack scenario.
"Getting all the different people in the two states together to make contacts and connections was a big part of this VIPR," said James Fotenos, a public affairs manager for TSA.
Agencies taking part in the exercise included the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Air Marshal Service, FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio Highway Patrol, West Virginia State Police, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus Fire Division's bomb squad, Columbus Regional Airport Authority Public Safety Department canine teams, Ohio National Guard, West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Division of Transportation, and West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Several nongovernment entities also took part in the exercise, including American Electric Power, Marathon Petroleum, CSX railroad police, Norfolk Southern railroad police, El Paso Pipeline, Duke Energy and Sunoco.
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.