FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The Army Reserve officers worked with brisk efficiency.
For much of the afternoon, they had meticulously documented and carefully packed cultural treasures from the Smithsonia museum in Pinelandia — a country that could soon be under siege. Their mission — to evacuate important items from the museum — was going well.
But then an aloof, lunch-preoccupied security guard accidentally put his foot through a precious painting propped against a table.
The room went silent. Then the museum’s collection manager had a conniption. The officers had a problem.
“A failure of our forces to secure the artifacts while we were handling them,” Capt. Blake Ruehrwein, 40, of Rehoboth, Mass., said afterward.
Thankfully for the officers, it was all only a training exercise set in a fictional museum and country. The mishap, which appeared at least somewhat intentional, would help them learn to deal with crisis and keep their heads on a swivel, instructors later said.
This article was written by Matt Stevens and originally published on www.nytimes.com