JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Beginning Monday, people who live or work near Navy bases can expect traffic slowdowns, an increase an security and the sounds of simulated gunfire.
Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay are all taking part in drills. It’s part of a two week national anti-terrorism protection exercise that will run until Feb. 14.
Every year, Navy bases across the country participate in Exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield. The exercise trains Navy security forces on threats to their bases.
Commander Patricia Tyler, executive officer at Naval Station Mayport, said the training reflects the Navy mantra: “We train as we fight.”
“It gives everyone the opportunity to go through their procedures for, say, an active shooter, which is the most culminating exercise, I would say, for this entire two week period. So everyone gets the chance to slow down because this exercise affects everyone across all installations in the entire United States," Tyler said.
Since Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia are a Naval tri-base region, residents may be affected by the exercise. Those who live on or near a Navy base can expect to see increased traffic and security.
“They will hear simulated gunfire, perhaps lots of sirens coming to the base. They’ll see increased traffic at the front gate, and some periods of time the gates will be closed. So we ask for everyone’s patience and just bear with us," Tyler said.
Anyone who receives text alerts from their local Navy base should receive updates throughout the training. The exercise also allows crews to test their emergency systems.