Region Northwest Participates in Exercise Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield
Navy News Service
Story Number: NNS110225-10
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Michael Wagoner, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Naval Station Everett, and Naval Magazine Indian Island participated in this year's annual Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (ATFP) exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2011 (SC-CS11) Feb. 21 - 25.
SC-CS11, which also involved Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), affected all Navy shore installations and activities in the continental United States, Hawaii, and Guam. The exercise stressed different areas of the Navy's anti-terrorism program to enhance the training and readiness of Naval Security Force personnel to respond to real-world threats.
"It's an annual exercise that gives us an opportunity to take all of our ATFP plans and actually put them to the test and find out if they work and then if they don't, figure out what went wrong," said Lt. Steve Thimmes, NBK security officer and ATFP coordinator for SC-CS11.
The objectives of the exercise include: deterrence of potential terrorist attacks by increasing awareness of Navy security force abilities to effectively respond to threats; increasing awareness about the exercise among persons who may be affected by exercise activities; increasing the Navy internal audience's understanding of its role in supporting the success of Navy security force activities; and create and maintain efficient lines of communication to improve timeliness in reporting throughout the exercise.
"Any large scale exercise, or any exercise … is going to test your procedures and your policies," said Brian Arcement, NBK training and readiness and lead exercise controller. "Until you actually test those you don't really know if they work."
During the exercise, various ATFP drills were conducted including surveillance, harbor security events, simulated improvised explosive device, and chemical spills. Active shooter threats were also used to drive installations in setting various force protection conditions and implementation of the auxiliary security force.
"We do a lot of practicing for active shooter responses," said Thimmes. "Since we have a large waterfront, we also practice small boat attacks … and also surveillance drills, which allows us to work with our civilian counterparts."
Local outside agencies such as Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue provided medical assistance and response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives threats to enhance military and civilian effectiveness and interagency coordination and efficiency.
"We try to train like we fight," said Arcement. "If something's going to happen like this we're going to call for as many reinforcements as we possibly can. The counties are very big partners in emergency response and emergency management with Naval Base Kitsap, so they're a big part of it."
Realistic training scenarios and responses like those practiced will enable the Navy and their civilian and military counterparts to maintain its forces at a high level of threat readiness. Drills conducted on NAS Whidbey Island and Naval Station Everett consisted of disgruntled Sailor attacks, additional on-base posts and patrols, a simulated bomb threat and a simulated hostage situation coordinated with Washington State Patrol.
"The awareness has certainly been raised. The focus has changed based on real-world and plausible scenarios," said Naval Base Kitsap Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Olson. "And I think that in many ways our ability to work with the local communities…is at a level that I've never even imagined before, where we can draw upon each other and work in cooperation; whether it's mutual aid on a day-to-day effort with our fire stations going to assist out in town or it's scenarios such as this."
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.
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