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Plans for the Navy’s annual force protection exercise, Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield (SC/CS 14) are underway at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren and NSF Indian Head. SC-CS 14 will run Feb. 24 - 28, and planned scenarios will occur during the week as part of the annual program.

Host command Naval Support Facility South Potomac, along with tenant commands, will have a chance to exercise their standard operating procedures, and exercise observers will chronicle reactions to the training exercises. In the end, the bases will have the opportunity to gain knowledge about how they can best respond if an event were to occur in real time.

SC-CS 14 is a Force Protection exercise conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) on all Navy installations in the Continental United States to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security personnel, as well as to establish a learning environment for security personnel to exercise functional plans and operational capabilities. Exercise SC-CS14 is an annual exercise and not in response to any specific threat.

SC/CS 14 also offers the opportunity to reacquaint base employees with the most important aspect of any incident - communications. How do you get your information, how quickly can you get it and where does it come from? Can it reach you wherever you are? Employees might receive information from a number of sources. Here are best practices on staying informed:

1. When NSASP activates the Wide Area Alert Network, all NMCI users will receive pop-up messages on their operational NMCI computers. Users can also register a number of electronic devices to receive info away from their computers. By clicking the purple WAAN orb in the pull down menu on the bottom right tool bar on your desktop and choosing Access Self Service, users can register cell phones, email addresses and phone numbers that will forward WAAN info to you wherever you are - at home, on the road, in a meeting in another building or wherever you might be when away from your NMCI computer.

2. Remember that Giant Voice serves one purpose - if you hear emergency tones sounded, it means that if you are outside, go inside. Don’t linger outside to listen for a verbal message. Recognize the tones and go inside and get informed on what is happening.

3. Be familiar with command notifications. How does your command communicate with you? Be sure you are registered and ready in case you need to access internal communications.

SC-CS 14 uses realistic scenarios to ensure U.S. Navy security forces maintain a high level of readiness to respond to changing and dynamic threats. Scenarios can include exercising different threat conditions, which can lead to some traffic delays. No significant delays are anticipated but during the week of SC-CS 14, but base personnel and community members may experience minor traffic back-ups during this time.

While exercises are occurring, the base has an opportunity to test their communications channels and reach the workforce. All announcements during this time are tagged as exercise communications, and base personnel have the opportunity to plan how they would respond if the scenario was real. Terminology issued during a drill might include “shelter in place” or “lockdown,” Asking personnel to shelter in place means everyone should seek shelter and stay where they are until further notice. A lockdown means that all buildings will be secured and no one will be allowed to exit or leave buildings. Messages are sent to alert personnel when these conditions are lifted as well.

The Navy has a responsibility to ensure the safety of our equipment, and, more importantly, our Sailors and their families, as well as Navy civilians and contractors. Base personnel also have a responsibility - stay informed and provide yourself with access to information that will reach you in a timely manner.