Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Vaughan Dill, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) installations conducted Exercise Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield (SC/CS) 2017 in coordination with local law enforcement and emergency personnel, Jan. 30 – Feb. 10.
SC/CS is a two-part, anti-terrorism/force protection exercise conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFFC) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), designed to enhance the training and readiness of Naval Security Forces (NSF) to respond to threats to installations and units, while also testing communications between NSF, Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), and Regional Operations Centers.
“SC/CS is USFFCs annual, nationwide force protection exercise,” said Mark D. Brooks, installation training and readiness officer, Naval Station Everett. “It tests the ability of security departments and installations to respond to simulated security incidents throughout the two-week exercise.”
This annual exercise is a regularly scheduled exercise and is not in response to any specific threat, and is designed to enhance readiness and ensure seamless interoperability among the commands, other services, and agency partners.
“This is a quick reaction, scenario driven, exercise designed to evaluate watch standers/first responders in the rapid assessment and response to a multitude and/or multiple threats on Navy forces,” said Rich Miller, Naval Base Kitsap installation training officer. “This exercise will also evaluate installation-wide knowledge, understanding and implementation of instructions and operating procedures.”
The coordinated effort included USFFC, CNIC, NRNW installations, the federal fire department, anti-terrorism training teams, installation training teams, security, emergency operations centers, regional operations center, Naval Facilities Northwest, Fleet and Family Support Centers, Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Naval Base Kitsap K9, Washington State Police, Kitsap County Emergency Management, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion, Submarine Group Nine, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and the Navy Exchange.
During SC/CS 2017, NSF personnel at all NRNW installations conducted several realistic threat simulations, including active shooters, vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, personnel borne improvised explosive devices, alarm responses, entry control point penetrations, protests, surveillance, hazmat response, bomb threats, suspicious packages, and mass casualties.
“We exercised numerous ships down at the pier conducting small boat drills and then we conducted a total of five active shooter drills in 10 different buildings that involved 12 different tenant commands,” said Brooks. “During Solid Curtain, we conducted a simulated violent protest that involved all tenants throughout Naval Station Everett, and City of Everett Alert Riot Team.”
Planning for SC/CS 2017 began immediately after last year’s SC/CS 2016 and required extensive coordination with regional base security officials and local emergency response units. Planning for SC/CS 2018 is expected to begin in late February.
“Planning for this exercise involved several hundred hours of developing, coordinating, planning, deconflicting, organizing, brief, assess, (conduct initial, mid, and final) planning meetings with all parties involved with each drill and exercise,” Miller. “This does not include the coordination with parties not involved but are impacted, to deconflict, coordinate, and brief on each drill and exercise.”
The exercises that occur during SC/CS help to improve NRNW’s ability to better respond to real-world events.
“The SC/CS exercise is important because it allows us to look closely at our security,” said Rear Adm. Gary Mayes, commander, Navy Region Northwest. “We can identify flaws and then make improvements where they are needed.”
According to Brooks, the biggest challenge is making sure all the stake holders are fully aware of all the exercises being conducted and then coordinating the various drills with all of the tenants to ensure they’re aware and that we get the most value out of conducting the drill as possible.
“Cost, time, making the exercises and drills as realistic as possible without compromising the safety and security of personnel on the installation all pose challenges to this exercise,” said Miller.
Navy Region Northwest is committed to maintaining a high level of readiness and coordination with mutual aid partners and first responders. Ensuring the safety of Navy equipment, service members, families, Navy civilians, and contractors is a top priority.