Acting Secretary of the Navy Visits NAS Pensacola First Responders

Story Number: NNS191210-24Release Date: 12/10/2019 10:37:00 PM
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From Naval Air Station Pensacola Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas B. Modly, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith visited Naval Air Station Pensacola Dec. 10, following the active shooter incident Dec. 6.

During the visit, Modly and Smith praised first responders from the base and the surrounding community for their response to the situation and the care they’re providing for all who are affected by this incident.

“I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the brave men and women for what we ask you to do every day,” said Modly. “Your immense bravery in the line of fire undoubtedly saved the lives of many. Today, as a Navy we grieve for those who were lost and we continue to stand by those who were wounded.”Department of the Navy patrol officers and master-at-arms with the Naval Security Force were the first responders on the scene and confronted the shooter. NSF was joined by officers from the Escambia County Sherriff’s Office who assisted with the eventual takedown of the shooter.  In the end, three Sailors and the shooter were killed and eight individuals were injured.  

“Our Security Force responded immediately and their quick reaction prevented the situation from being far worse,” said Lt. Steve Pakola, security officer, NAS Pensacola.  “We train for these types of situations and their performance was exceptional.  They displayed unbelievable bravery when confronted with the shooter, but they performed their job without thought of the risk they faced.”

Following a short tour of the base, the pair joined members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and Naval Air Station Pensacola for a leadership brief. The brief is meant to increase interagency communication, coordination, and support for one another.

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Capt. Tim Kinsella introduces Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Thomas B. Modly to Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Holly Barber.
191210-N-GN377-0015 PENSACOLA, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2019) Capt. Tim Kinsella, right, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola, introduces Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Thomas B. Modly to Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Holly Barber, one of the first responders to the active shooter incident Dec. 6 at Naval Air Station Pensacola during a visit to the installation, Dec. 10, 2019. Modly and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russ Smith traveled to the installation and met with the NAS Pensacola Naval Security Force to praise them for their quick response to the shooter. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dan Mennuto/Released)
December 10, 2019
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