Navy Seabee Base in Gulfport Holds Active Shooter Drill

Contributor: Nick Patrick
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Updated: 2/24/2014 8:31 pm
Security on military bases has been a major concern since last year's Navy Yard shooting in Washington D.C. where a gunman was able to enter the base and kill 12 people. That's a major reason why one local base is making sure its security team can respond quickly to a terrorist threat. It was an intense scene just inside the gate when a simulated shooting exercise took place between security on the base and a terrorist threat. While this may only have been a simulation with fake bullets and weapons, no one involved took the exercise lightly. Shots of gunfire rang out on the Navy Seabee Base this afternoon as security officers worked to neutralize a simulated terrorist threat. Captain Paul Odenthal, Commanding Officer, says, "This is a Navy-wide exercise to review our anti-terrorism and force protection measures called Citadel Shield Solid Curtain, and today, we’re doing an active shooter drill." Odenthal says all Navy bases participate in these active shooter drills to stay prepared for any deadly situation. Odenthal also says, "Well this type of exercise, we do active shooter all the time. We prepare for this situation. One of many we do throughout the year to make sure we're prepared for an incident like the Navy Yard."

The drill was not only for security personnel, but for medical staff as well. They were also able to move in once the scene was secure to see how they would handle this situation. Sergeant Katie Morrison, Security Training Officer, says, "Once we call the scene secure, medical can go in and start assessing who the wounded are, triage who needs to get out first, who is deceased, and then they just start their whole process from there." Security officers say this situation is one of the most difficult to train for, but the experience gained from this drill is vital when it comes to dealing with a terrorist threat, and could mean the difference between life and death. Morrison also says, "It was as real, as possible. These are really hard to train on because every active shooter drill is different. This was about as scripted as we can get. Our guys didn't know anything other than two shooters and several wounded. That's all they knew, so textbook, this was perfect."

Once the drill began, it only took a few minutes for officers to enter the building and take out the shooters. The medics moved in shortly after to handle the wounded. In this simulation, the terrorists killed three individuals and wounded five others, while the officers killed one of the shooters and captured the other. The entire drill lasted less than an hour.

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