Nearly five years after a lethal terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killed an American ambassador and several others, overseas embassies are still not prepared to handle emergency evacuations, according to a new government oversight report, which disclosed that just four percent of American overseas posts had adequately performed mandatory emergency evacuation training from 2013 to 2016, a period when threats from terrorist groups and other forces grew.
In the years since the fatal Benghazi attack, the State Department has been forced to evacuate American staff and their families from 23 overseas posts due to “various threats, such as terrorism, civil unrest, and natural disasters,” according to the report, which urges the State Department to make these emergency drills a priority.
Evacuation training is critical as U.S. overseas facilities continue to face mounting threats from terrorists and other types of militants, according to the report.
While the State Department has clear guidance on the types of emergency training drills that need to be performed, U.S facilities have not been adequately implementing these strategies, which U.S. officials described as cumbersome and “not readily usable in emergency situations,” according to investigators.
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