ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Service members aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, participated in the annual training exercise, Neptune Response 2010, hosted by Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, Nov. 16-18.
The exercise tested the bases response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives.
It was also coordinated training to enhance skill sets to respond and recover from catastrophic incidents.
"The most important part of these exercises is having everyone work together," said Lt. Cmdr. Will Bassett, a training team leader for the exercise. "We look at is the coordination piece between, for example, the hospital and the emergency management department and the region operations center. So, really, the biggest piece is seeing how well everyone works together."
While most exercises deal with people, places and the incident, this one dealt with an unknown, said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) James Vaiciulis, an incident training team coordinator for the exercise.
"In this case we're dealing with a kind of unknown, or a kind of hard to track element which is radiation," said Bassett. "We don't know where it's at, we don't really know where it came from, so there's a huge 'what if' portion to this that's not normally there."
Bassett also said that it's important to give training to departments who don't normally have much interaction and give them a chance to work together.
"All of the entities, emergency services and management, as well as explosive ordnance disposal, is also taking part," said Bassett. "We're doing a simulated contamination with radiation on base to measure and exercise our collective response to this type of incident."
Naval Station Rota Commanding Officer Capt. Bill Mosk was pleased with how the coordination piece between the emergency operation center (EOC) and region went and between the EOC and the responders on the ground.
"I'm very proud of our teams in the field and the leadership in our emergency operations center," said Mosk. "This was a very unique scenario, and I think we handled it quite well. The key now is to analyze what went right and what went wrong, and then incorporate the necessary improvements into our procedures to make sure we are keeping our fleet, warfighters and families safe."
For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit www.navy.mil/local/rota/.