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Homeland Security

Naval Installations Exercise Solid Curtain

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090227-16
Release Date: 2/27/2009 2:22:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua Adam Nuzzo, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East

HAMPTON, Va. (NNS) -- A plane simulates crashing into a hangar at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana Feb. 24, and firefighting, rescue workers and security personnel reponded to all calls during Exercise Solid Curtain 2009.

Exercise Solid Curtain is a simulated training evolution held annually at installations nationwide to enhance Navy security personnel training and readiness. It helps personnel practice anti-terrorism tactics, and other techniques and procedures which can affect normal base and station operations.

"We go through great pains to make these simulations as real and life-like as possible," said Ken Snyder, fire chief for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. "The point of training is to watch for mistakes, so we can learn from them and improve our skills."

A flight simulator was set ablaze on the NAS Oceana flight line to simulate a plane crashing into the hangar, and station Sailors acted as victims of the resulting explosion in the hangar to create a more life-like situation.

Fire and rescue workers were unaware of what the day's training exercise consisted of until the call of the plane crash came in.

"The Sailors receive just a basic safety brief at the start of the day," said Snyder. "We want to exercise our fire-fighting skills to the best of our ability, so we train like we fight."

Other training exercises are being conducted on Navy bases and installations around the country throughout the rest of the week.

"This is a very unique exercise because it is happening nationwide," said Lt. Darrin Faller, security officer for NAS Oceana. "This is a training exercise, and we try to minimize the effects to Sailors and civilians trying to gain access to the base. In a real-world situation, it would affect the lives of everyone in the Hampton Roads area."

Personnel will be put through the paces of various attack and disaster exercises to evaluate regional anti-terrorism and force protection operations.

"The time to practice is before you have to do it for real. If you are prepared to respond, the end product will be much better," said Rear Adm. Mark Boensel, Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. "The overall goal is to be able to respond to all hazards quickly, effectively and efficiently, to support the fleet, fighter and family."

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