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This year's Citadel Shield kicked off Tuesday and continues through Friday with activities set to test various agencies as well as the vigilance of installation personnel.

While budget constraints resulted in a scaled-back version of the annual Navywide antiterrorism/force protection exercise, known as Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield, installations assigned to Commander, Navy Installations Command were able to continue their training portion, Citadel Shield, thanks to funding that was allocated nearly a year ago.

Installation training teams took the opportunity to create realistic scenarios geared toward maintaining a high level of readiness for all employees.

"We want to make our people better at what they're supposed to do," Craig Buist, the installation program director for training and readiness, said about the scenarios in a Tester article last week. "This is one of those areas where if you don't continually polish your skills, they become rusty. If we can't protect the installation and the people on the installation in the most efficient and effective way available, then we jeopardize both the people and the mission here."

At NAS Patuxent River, scenarios included a suspicious package drill at Public Works and an active shooter/hostage situation exercise at the NAS headquarters building. Not only did these two events test first responders, it also tested employee response.

Leading up to the week-long exercise, weekly Tester articles were published aimed at preparing personnel and reminding them what to do during specific situations

The results of this exercise will not be released due to a matter of policy.

While both Solid Curtain and Citadel Shield focus on force protection, Solid Curtain is a command post exercise specifically for command and control aspects across multiple locations. Citadel Shield is a field training exercise that focuses specifically on an installation's force protection tactics, techniques and procedures.

The canceled Solid Curtain portion is a command post exercise which the Navy uses to assess command and control capabilities, and to evaluate the readiness and effectiveness of fleet and region programs across the continental United States as part of the DOD all-hazards readiness program.