USS Enterprise Holds Anti-Terrorism Drill
Story Number: NNS040701-02 Release Date: 7/1/2004 9:26:00 AM
By Journalist 3rd Class Daniel Vaughan, USS Enterprise Public Affairs
USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (Big E) (CVN 65) Sailors held an anti-terrorism drill June 22 while the carrier was at sea in the North Atlantic for Summer Pulse '04.
Big E Sailors are taking advantage of this first test of the Navy's operational construct, the Fleet Response Plan, to hone their warfighting skills.
This particular drill simulated what might happen if a terrorist gained access to the ship.
"This was a hostage drill," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Herald G. Lloyd Jr., antiterrorism force protection and security training petty officer. "Basically, we have a terrorist that somehow comes in on a COD (carrier on board delivery) flight, gets onto the ship, gets down into the hangar bay and takes a hostage."
Lloyd said while it's not a very likely situation, it's best to be prepared for anything.
"One of the things we do down here is prepare for the worst-case scenario, so if it does happen, we can deal with it," he said.
Big E Security responded to the drill with a two-team system.
"We have two response forces, and each of them has a different job," said Lloyd. "The first responders are called the primary response force (PRF). They're made up of the on-duty patrol, and they're armed up. There's an armed PRF 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When they hear the security alert, they go to the area, secure the area and figure out what's going on."
The second team is more specialized.
"The second team is the secondary response force (SRF)," said Lloyd. "We're more of a tactical team. We don't stay armed up. When a security alert goes down, we come down to security and get all our gear on, and by the time we're armed up, the PRF is already on the scene. They call down to us and give us specifics, and we respond accordingly." The SRF members have all attended school to learn advanced techniques for emergency situations.
Lloyd said drilling with the two-team method improves Big E security's effectiveness.
"It helped us work together. This is the first time we've used this type of response plan, where the PRF sets the perimeter and the SRF moves in," said Lloyd. "It actually works a lot better than the way we used to do things."
The team also learned how to cope with equipment failure.
"We had a communications failure with the (radios)," said Senior Chief Master-at-Arms (SW/AW) Jack P. Mickle, chief master at arms. "Five of my advanced team members lost communications as soon as they got in Hangar Bay One, so they had to rely on hand signals after that. The lesson is that you can depend on your (radios), but if they go out, you need to have a back-up plan."
The large number of people in the hangar bay during the drill helped the teams learn how to deal with added pressure.
"Most of the primary response team members haven't done it before, and they had a crowd up there, which is unusual and puts a little pressure on you," said Mickle.
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