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NSA New Orleans Test their Solid Curtain

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070926-41
Release Date: 9/26/2007 6:54:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Poe, Naval Support Activity New Orleans Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) New Orleans’ Security Department, assisted by their Auxiliary Security Force (ASF), participated in Exercise Solid Curtain – Citadel Shield 2007, Sept. 14-21.

The annual exercise, carried out on all stateside Navy installations, was conducted to sharpen the readiness of Naval Security Force (NSF) personnel. Although the exercise was not done in response to any specific threat, it was used to heighten the awareness and training of NSF personnel in the event of if a real world threat was to happen.

Commander, Navy Region Southeast’s (CNRSE) 21 installations, (NSA New Orleans’ parent command) put their training into action as they faced various simulated, surprise risk scenarios.

Some scenarios were as low-key and secretive as recognizing and countering base surveillance, to more high-tempo and active simulated issues such as small boat attacks on waterfront bases.

According to Master-at-Arms 1st Class (SW) Philip Dance, NSA’s anti-terrorism officer (ATO), a major focus for this year’s exercise was making message traffic more efficient between his Crescent City base and CNRSE officials in Jacksonville, Fla. He said CNRSE’s newly-activated C4I Portal system allowed NSA Security Sailors to relay important information to and from region officials in real time.

“C4I is a secure Web site that passes down quick announcements and has a chat room for discussion of anti-terrorism issues between commands and higher authorities,” said Dance. “It allows the end user to ask immediate questions, as opposed to exchanging one-way message traffic.”

He also said the system assisted NSA’s security personnel due to the ability to get clarifications quickly.

“Past situations of heightened security have been addressed with standard, one-way messages instructing us on what to be on the look out for,” said Dance. “Now with C4I, we can ask for and receive amplifying information without a delay to enhance our readiness.”

Dance said he felt C4I better served CNRSE installations as a whole because NSF personnel region-wide sometimes deal with similar security issues.

“A question asked by one command can be answered and seen by all CNRSE commands, saving time on disseminating the same information over and over again,” said Dance.

He added that though C4I complimented traditional Naval messaging, it didn’t replace those requirements.

As the global war on terrorism continues, Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Steve King, NSA’s security officer and anti-terrorism tactical watch officer, reiterated that it’s indeed “global,” therefore no stone was left unturned during Solid Curtain. He said with security an obviously high priority, he said everyone involved put an equally high priority on safety.

“With the emphasis on training and awareness, we also ensured we had a safe and risk-free environment,” said King.

He also added that the week-long exercise, was indeed that, only a week long. He said training at NSA continues all year long and credits the success of the exercise and year-round operations to his Sailors and DoD patrolmen who excel every day.

“They are the best the Navy has to offer and do a hot, sweaty thankless job to the best of their ability,” said King. “The Solid Curtain Exercise was just business as usual for us since these are the exact situations we train for every day.”

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