Navy exercise in Hampton Roads tests readiness to respond to threats

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Mike Gooding, 13News Now

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 8:10 PM

YORKTOWN -- Hundreds of sailors and civilian first responders are training for how they'd react to a terrorist attack or other emergency at Hampton Roads Naval installations. 

It's Fleet Forces Command's annual "Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield" exercise, said to be the nation's largest anti-terrorism and force protection drill.

On Wednesday, more than 100 military personnel and their civilian counterparts from the York County and Poquoson Sheriff's Departments participated in an active shooter drill at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station 

Under the scenario, gunmen had taken aim at a base clinic, and taken hostages. Navy watch-standers and civilian SWAT team members and hostage negotiators responded. The Sentara air ambulance Nightingale also took part.

"This is so vital to what we do every day," said Yorktown commanding officer Captain Paul Haebler. "The primary goal is to protect our sailors, their families, all the civilians who might work at or visit the base." 

"This exercise continues to be a cornerstone of our installation's ability to protect our forces and the people supporting those forces," said Captain  Jake Johansson, Commanding Officer of Naval support Activity Hampton Roads.  "As always, safety is our main concern during this training event."

The annual training comes five months after the Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage that left 12 people, plus the shooter, dead.   

 

Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield will continue at Navy bases throughout Hampton Roads through February 28th.

 

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