SAN PEDRO ( — Federal, state and local law enforcement officials Tuesday are taking part in a security exercise to protect oil and gas platforms in Southern California from potential threats.

Personnel with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department will be participants in the Offshore Platform Security Threat Awareness and Response Program (OPSTAR 13) maritime exercise at Terminal Island in San Pedro, sheriff’s officials said.

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The Sheriff’s Department will deploy personnel from its Homeland Security Division and Marina Del Rey station to demonstrate a tactical response capability to a simulated incident involving armed intruders on an oil platform in the Los Angeles County region, according to officials.

The scenario will involve personnel rappelling from a helicopter and conducting a top-down clearing of the oil platform, while small boats will deploy personnel from the surface to conduct a bottom-up clearing, authorities said.

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An LAPD diving team will also conduct a search of the platform’s underwater structure for explosive devices, according to officials.

Sheriff’s Lt. Jack Ewell told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO there’s a real need for this kind of training.

“We’ve seen too many of these active gunmen in different areas throughout the United States and we just want to be prepared,” Ewell said.

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The exercise was underway at 8:30 a.m. and was expected to continue until noon.