PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD –NAS Patuxent River is joining naval installations around the National Capital Region in preparing for the Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain (CS-SC), the Navy’s annual anti-terrorism and force protection exercise scheduled to take place Feb. 3-14.
Conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command, the two-part exercise uses realistic drills and scenarios to ensure Navy security forces maintain a high level of readiness to respond to changing and dynamic threats. It also provides an opportunity for testing and evaluating the emergency training and pre-planned response procedures already in place.
Citadel Shield, the first part of the exercise, focuses on installation-level training and all scenarios occur entirely within Pax River’s gates.
“Multiple drills will take place at Pax on Feb. 4, 5 and 6,” said Marcus Dismuke, NAS Patuxent River N3/operations officer. “They might include an integrated response involving various agencies such as security, the fire department, public works, emergency management and FFSC, which will allow us to evaluate how well we communicate and work with each other during an emergency situation, and whether we have the correct procedures in place to handle such a situation.”
Whenever an exercise is underway, Pax personnel might experience gate delays or closures, temporary changes in traffic or parking patterns, and see an increase in force protection condition from the usual Bravo to Charlie or beyond.
“We won’t be doing anything around high traffic times,” Dismuke noted. “We do our best to minimize disruption and avoid the significant backup. We’ll make sure we get people onto base first before we go into our drills.”
Aside from hearing frequent sirens and seeing additional emergency vehicles on the road responding to drills in progress, personnel can also expect to receive multiple emergency response notifications.
“They’ll receive alerts via AtHoc and see emails and text messages ahead of time,” Dismuke said. “It’s nothing we don’t already do; it’s just that they’ll see them multiple times, back-to-back, over a number of days.”
The Solid Curtain portion, occurring in the second week of the exercise, is a national-level exercise centered on command, control and communications between all echelons Navy-wide where everything that happens at an installation affects every other installation, even if only in a minor way.
For instance, if leadership – U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), U.S. Fleet Forces Command, or CNIC – sees trends or incidents in one or more areas they feel may also impact a different area, they can selectively put installations, regions, or the entire NORTHCOM area of responsibility into a heightened force protection condition. This would again prompt further delays, closures and emergency notifications at Pax River.
In order to be kept informed about what’s happening at the installation throughout the CS-SC exercise, personnel should enroll in AtHoc, the recommended method for receiving information at any time of the year.
AtHoc messages provide emergency notifications that may affect the installation – such as base delays or closings – and anyone can sign up to receive them, including government contractors. AtHoc messages can be sent to home and cell phones, a TTY/TDD phone, pager, fax, plus work and personal emails. For more information about AtHoc, visit www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/ndw/about/waan.html.
Notifications will also be posted on the NAS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NASPaxRiver, and the Pax River Twitter feed @NASPaxRiverPAO.
While every effort is made to limit inconveniences, personnel are advised to expect delays during the exercise. The ultimate purpose of the CS-SC is to ensure the protection of all who work and live aboard Pax River, and real-world events like the shootings at Naval Air Station Pensacola and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard only highlight the importance of such training
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Amadi, Naval District Washington Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Naval installations within the National Capital Region are preparing to participate in the scheduled exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain (CS/SC) 2020, which is set to take place Feb. 3 – 14.
All Navy installations within the continental United States participate in the annual two-week anti-terrorism and force protection (ATFP) exercise. Citadel Shield takes place the first week and is run by Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). The second week, Solid Curtain, is run by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC). During CS/SC, Navy security forces undergo realistic scenarios intended to help maintain a high level of readiness.
“Now that we have completed the annual training and inspection of the Navy security forces, we try to use Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain as a continuation of our training for our ATFP security forces,” said Tim Stoessel, Naval District Washington (NDW) exercise analyst. “We usually either do an active shooter or an active attacker scenario.”
Real-world events like the shootings at Naval Air Station Pensacola and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard highlight the importance of exercises like CS/SC.
“One of the things we’re looking at is the possibility of internal threats,” said Matthew Brown, NDW training and exercise director. “I think we’ve done a really good job of protecting our fence lines, but unfortunately, some of the incidents that have occurred recently have taken place inside the fence lines. We’re taking a new look at that, how to prevent those incidents from occurring and how to react to them if they do.”
“I think from the highest offices in the Navy on down to our region and the installations, people are aware of these threats in their everyday lives now. The recent events provided us a new opportunity to help people to understand that these exercises are extremely important because these scenarios, unfortunately, could unfold and if they do, we want to know what to do and our people to know how to react,” said Brown.
Personnel should register for the AtHoc wide-area alert network if they have not already done so in order to be aware of force protection conditions and another emergency, environmental, or exercise-related impacts on the area. Staggered entry and exit times for personnel working on installations should be considered in order to limit traffic at entry control points. Personnel should also familiarize themselves with their command or tenant command anti-terrorism plan to better know what to expect during the exercise.