WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval District Washington is anticipating an increased amount of activity aboard its installations throughout the NDW region when it conducts exercise Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield 2011, Feb. 21-25.
The exercise is the largest force protection ⁄anti-terrorism exercise conducted nationwide and is coordinated by U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). Since 1999, Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield, a shore-based Force Protection exercise has been conducted on all CONUS Naval bases and installations.
James Spofford, NDW regional exercise planner said the annual exercise is a regularly scheduled activity, and residents in surrounding areas and the installation communities should not be worried.
"They need to know to not be alarmed and these exercises are not in response to any specific threat," Spofford said.
As the exercise commences, personnel aboard NDW installations will likely witness enforcement and emergency management teams responding to random emergency drills occurring during any time, on any day, at any location on the installations. It could also be accompanied by an announcement via the Wide Area Alert Network (WAAN).
Spofford said the primary goal of Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield is to enhance readiness.
"This exercise is developed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security personnel," Spofford said. "It establishes a learning environment for players to exercise functional plans and operational capabilities."
Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield objectives include:
- Increasing awareness of Naval Security Force's personnel readiness to respond to threats to installations and units
- Increasing awareness about the exercise among Sailors, family members and civilians who require base access
- Creating and maintaining efficient lines of communication to improve timeliness in reporting throughout the exercise
- And increasing awareness within the local community of the possible impact on local traffic.
According to Spofford, throughout the exercise, the levels of security will change which may result in longer than usual waits for entry at security gates.
"Due to increased security measures, people may be subject to more scrutiny as they attempt to enter the bases," he said. "The best thing for people to do to ensure a smooth, safe exercise is be patient and plan a little extra travel time on and off the naval bases."
During the exercise everyone inside every vehicle will be checked for identification. There will also be an increased amount of random vehicle checks.
"Exercises like this are a great way to ensure complete understanding of the standard operating procedures of CNIC, the region and the installation," Spofford said.
Spofford said it is important to remember that announcements made over the WAAN for this Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield exercise will be preceded by the words "Exercise, Exercise, Exercise."
In order to alleviate some of the delays, Spofford recommends that employees work with their respective departments to exercise their telecommuting options during the week of Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield to decrease the pressure on all involved or affected by this exercise.
For more news from Naval District Washington, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/ndw/.