JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Jacksonville Security and Fire Department personnel, supported by the Naval Station Mayport Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, conducted an anti-terrorism/force protection evolution as part of the nationwide Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2011 Exercise, Feb. 24.
NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay observed a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exercise conducted at the base Antenna Farm.
"This car bomb scenario is our part of the Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield exercise that tests our AT/FP response," said Maclay. "It's a significant learning opportunity because it involves coordination of NAS Jax Security and Fire Departments along with NCIS, the FBI and the EOD detachment from Naval Station Mayport."
The exercise kicked off when a "jogging" role player called police dispatch to report a "strange car" parked on the road. When a patrolman arrived to investigate the car, he reported a package in the back seat marked with the word "bomb."
Security and fire personnel were dispatched to the scene. The on-site incident commander was Lt. Clifford Caserta of NAS Jax Security, who communicated with NAS Jax Emergency Operations Center to determine available assets in the area.
"As an explosive-detecting military working dog and security personnel secured the area surrounding the car, we requested the EOD response team from Naval Station Mayport. The Florida Highway Patrol and Jacksonville Sheriff's Office escorted the bomb squad's truck through morning traffic, ultimately arriving at the NAS Jax Birmingham Gate," said Caserta.
After a briefing by Caserta and other players, the EOD mobile unit approached to a safe distance from the suspicious car and unloaded two tactical robots.
Bomb squad Leading Chief Petty Officer Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Jonah Toy, bomb squad leading chief petty officer, said that for any given scenario, the EOD team performs reconnaissance to identify the device and determines how to neutralize the device, after which they dispose of hazardous components and submit a final EOD incident report.
After deploying the remote-controlled EOD robots and exhausting their capabilities, a human bomb squad member, Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rick McAbee, was suited up to shoot the car bomb with 'energetic tools' designed to destroy bomb firing circuits or their explosive payloads.
Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2011 was a scheduled exercise conducted Feb. 21-25 at all continental United States naval installations - and was not a response to any specific threat.
"This exercise enhances the training and readiness of our security personnel and first responders," said Rear Adm. Tim Alexander, commander, Navy Region Southeast. "It will also create a learning environment for installation personnel to exercise functional plans and operational capabilities."
"This is the time to prepare and learn how to adapt to diverse and fast-moving situations," said Alexander. "The more opportunities we have to train, the more proficient we'll be in dealing with real-world events."
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.