VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek- Fort Story (JEBLCFS) successfully completed numerous training evolutions as part of Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2012, March 19-24.
Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield is a force protection exercise conducted annually by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command on board all Navy installations in the continental United States. The exercise is designed to test and evaluate anti-terrorism command and control, and to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security personnel.
"As the Installation Training Team leader, I could not be more proud of our team's focus and extraordinary effort displayed during the execution of this week's scenarios," said Cmdr. Doug Rhoads, excutive officer, JEBLCFS. "Each of the training teams contributed immeasurably in ensuring that each scenario was focused on real-world threats, while at the same time never losing site of safety for participants like the many volunteer role players. Working with Virginia Beach Law Enforcement was substantial in meeting our overall objectives, because these kinds of emergencies would require a unified effort to ensure the safety of both the installation and outer lying community."
Several training exercises provided real-world challenges for the installation's security forces. These included facing angry protesters outside the gates, handling suspicious packages and the establishment of increased security measures at the base's entry control points.
Additionally, the installation ITT effectively coordinated two major joint training opportunities which involved outside agencies. These included an active shooter and small boat attack scenario in the JEB Little Creek Harbor, as well as a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE)/hostage incident.
The active shooter and small boat attack scenario was focused around an increasingly realistic scenario, a Sailor recently returns from a wartime deployment and while on a patrol boat watch turns his gun on his partner and begins firing at will on personnel on shore and aboard the ships in port. The installation then requests assistance from the local Coast Guard station that in turn dispatches two armed vessels which neutralize the situation. Blanks were authorized for use to provide realism to the training.
The CBRNE/Hostage scenario that was exercised on board JEB Fort Story involved a truck that had entered the base to conduct lawn maintenance service, and barrels that were believed to contain liquid fertilizer actually were found to contain home grown chemicals combined as a bomb. The driver and passenger attempt to detonate the bomb, but there is a malfunction which kills one of the two, and presents a potential chemical hazard. The remaining suspect runs to a nearby building and takes three hostages in a last ditched effort to make a statement.
While the installation fire and EMS responders are trying to neutralize the chemical hazard, base Security personnel work jointly with the City of Virginia Beach Police and SWAT teams to resolve the hostage situation. As was the case with the week's earlier harbor exercise, simulated munitions and smoke were used to provide realism to each training scenario.
"It was a pleasure to work jointly with base personnel and participate in the training," stated Lt. Benjamin Gonse, SWAT team commander for the Virginia Beach Police Department. "It provided us an opportunity to integrate with the base Security Department as well as hone our own skills in a challenging environment. In fact, we have our own lessons learned from this scenario that, once evaluated, will help to enhance our ability to respond to similar events. Basically, it was really a win, win situation for us."
"Being new and having just recently assumed my duties, I cannot be more proud of my team for the way they responded this week during all the exercise scenarios," said Lt. Glenn Scott, security officer, JEBLCFS. "I knew our Navy security forces were phenomenal, including active duty, civilian, Auxiliary Security Force and Reservists; but having seen them perform and respond this week, they are the best I have worked with in my Navy career. I am extremely proud to be associated with this fine team of professionals."
"In addition, I cannot thank my counterparts in the City of Virginia Beach Police and SWAT units for working with us to produce some outstanding training, but also in working with us to minimize traffic congestion around the base during our peek security measures. As a result of our planning, we had limited to no issues at our gates," proclaimed Scott.
"This was indeed an outstanding training event. It took the efforts and dedication of several key members to turn such a complex scenario into a realistic training exercise," stated Capt. Charles Stuppard, commander, JEBLCFS.
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