Military and civilian emergency services throughout Naval District Washington (NDW) this week concluded two weeks of extensive drills and crisis response training during the annual anti-terrorism and force protection exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield (SC-CS).
Solid Curtain is a Navywide exercise led by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces and Commander, Navy Installation Command, and Citadel Shield is designed to evaluate installation-level responses to a range of force protection situations.
At Naval Support Activity (NSA) Washington, leaders gathered for a tabletop exercise to discuss emergency action plans (EAP) different services would practice in the case of an actual emergency. Audrey Champagne, installation training officer, said the exercise provided valuable feedback to develop better plans for the command as well as installation tenants.
“It was solution-oriented,” she said of the training. “It was focused on all the stakeholders within NSA Washington’s area of responsibility and they all felt like they had an important role to help get their EAP plans and our EAP plans in the right direction.”
Further south in NDW, Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River hosted an active training schedule featuring an active shooter and hostage situation, a bomb threat, and base intruders, among other events.
“We had superb tenant participation this year, with all levels of leadership involved ensuring their workforce is trained and ready for unpredictable threats,” said Capt. Ben Shevchuk, NAS Patuxent River commanding officer. “We do an excellent job when it comes to accomplishing the mission, but we should always take advantage of training opportunities that allow us to enhance safety and security throughout the workforce.”
Nearby at NSA South Potomac and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB), exercise leaders also focused on deterring falsely-credentialed intruders along installation perimeters, as well as participating in active-shooter scenarios within the bases.
To ensure safety and security during the training, role players acting as the shooters were escorted by base personnel who oversaw and evaluated the events. As an annual exercise, SC-CS allows military and civilian responders alike to hone emergency skills as threats evolve, but in a safe environment, much like any other military drill.
Joseph Goldsberry, lead exercise planner for NDW, said SC-CS follows the classic military adage, ‘train like we fight.’
“The same plans that we use during the exercise are the same ones we use in a real world event,” he said. “Our goal is to make the exercise scenario as realistic as possible to facilitate a realistic crisis situation.”
The overall event for NDW culminated with a large-scale active-shooter drill at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in NSA Bethesda designed to mitigate damages and devise better protection plans for visitors, residents and staff.
Immediately following the tabletop exercise at Washington Navy Yard, Champagne said positive feedback about the exercise began flowing in from participants.
“It was a success,” she said. “Everyone had a better understanding of what’s going on during these emergency situations and the best way we can get information to civilians who are locked down.”
Personnel are encouraged to sign up for the AtHoc alert network and follow the “If you see something, say something” rule in the case of witnessing any suspicious activity.
For more news and images of SC-CS 2014 and to stay up to date with events in NDW, visit www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.
Connie Hempel, NAS Patuxent River Public Affairs, contributed to this article.