Fort Hamilton commander tells Board 11 of emergency drill

Don’t be alarmed. It’s only a drill.

That’s the message Col. Andrew Zieseniss, the commanding officer of Fort Hamilton Army Base, had for members of Community Board 11 when he spoke at the Bensonhurst board’s meeting on June 13.

Zieseniss revealed that the military base, located at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 101st Street in Bay Ridge, will be undergoing an emergency preparedness drill with the NYPD on Wednesday, June 19.

“It’s an exercise to test our response to emergencies,” Zieseniss told the community board.

The drill, which will test the fort’s ability to handle a crisis situation, is designed to be as realistic as possible, according to Zieseniss.

“You may see emergency vehicles,” Zieseniss said, adding that residents might also spot helicopters hovering in the sky above the fort that day.

In other news, Zieseniss invited the public to take part in the fort’s Independence Day Celebration, set to take place on Wednesday, July 3.

The celebration, which is free, will include a concert on the fort’s bluff featuring rock, salsa and R&B bands, as well as a fireworks show over New York Harbor. The gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 6 p.m. The fireworks, which will originate from barges in the harbor, will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.

“It will be a great event,” Zieseniss said.

He urged residents to visit the fort’s website to register to be placed on an access roster. The website can be found at  

To date, 1,500 people have registered for the event, Zieseniss said.

On the day of the celebration, visitors must enter the fort through the 101st Street gate and present a valid ID.

While the June 13 meeting marked the first time Zieseniss has addressed Board 11, it was not the first time he has met Board 11 Chairperson Bill Guarinello. The commander noted that he works closely with Guarinello, who is a member of the Fort Hamilton Citizens Advisory Committee, a group composed of civic and business leaders in Southwest Brooklyn.

Zieseniss, who is originally from St. Louis, took command of Fort Hamilton in 2018.

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