HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi hosted an exercise Wednesday, where members of the community planned what they would do in the event of an attack at a major sporting event.
One of the participants in the program was retired Major General Jeff Hammond, who commanded the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq. Following his long military career, Hammond accepted a position last October at Southern Miss as the Athletic Department's Senior Associate Director.
Hammond said the conference brought together many players that have a stake in meeting the needs of the community if a terrible event were to happen. Hammond has extensive experience in that area as both an Army leader and having been present at the Pentagon on September eleventh.
"In fact my office, the people in my office were killed. Right before the planes struck I was in there with my staff and I was called out when the plane hit and then dealt with the situation from there," said Hammond. "So certainly my experience with that and my experience as an Army officer leading soldiers and their families in combat and at home allows me to lend some different type of thought to this particular exercise."
Hammond said his current position at Southern Miss is a dream come true and he enjoys filling an important role at the University that gave him so much.