NSA Annapolis conducts active shooter exercise

WASHINGTON - Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis teamed up with the city of Annapolis, Maryland, to conduct an active shooter exercise as part of the annual exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield (SC-CS) 2015, Feb. 6.

SC-CS 15 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 establish a learning environment for security personnel to exercise functional plans and operational capabilities.

"This is a great training opportunity for this type of event should it happen on campus," said Phil Card, NSA Annapolis operations director. "It's one of those things that keep me awake, it's great for the population - for the midshipmen and faculty and staff to see they have a security force do this training and understand what their role is as well."

First responders teamed up in a scenario consisting of multiple "active shooters" in the Naval Academy's Nimitz Library. NSA Annapolis security and fire department coordinated with Annapolis police, and city and county fire departments to neutralize the shooters and help the simulated casualties on the scene.

"We have the City of Annapolis in here with us as well just so that we are able to function as a team and have the same priorities and are looking at the same things," said Card. "I mean they get a lot of great training and sharing that with our Sailors and DOD security is critical to our success."

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 evolution.

Capt. Logan Jones, NSA Annapolis commanding officer, emphasized that the exercise helps to practice military forces' interoperability with local first responders in the case an active shooter emergency would happen in his installation.

"It is wonderful for us to be able to exercise with our mutual aid partners. We have established some great relationships with the city police, and that relationship is not just a drill relationship but it's a year-round relationship." said Jones. "I think it's critical and maybe it's more critical for us than other bases - to have those relationships with the other agencies. We're not a number of miles out of town and really out of reach. We're right in the city of Annapolis - the state capital."

Exercise SC-CS is the largest force protection exercise across the Department of Defense and consists of roughly 130 simultaneous field training exercise attacks across the country.

"For our young folks, we're trying to introduce them to the concepts of what are your priorities of action in an active shooter and to teach them the tactical movements necessary to go through a facility and find the bad guy, and make sure [the building] is clear," said Jones. "I think that the annual exercises we do for Solid Curtain and Citadel Shield are invaluable for really focusing everybody's attention on a very important reality in our lives - the need to keep ourselves safe and secure and to respond to threats to our security."

SC-CS15 is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly scheduled exercise.

Originally posted February 13, 2015 by Naval District Washington