JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Navy bases across the country, including Naval Station Mayport, conducted active shooter and terrorist drills on Wednesday, ensuring personnel are prepared for worst-case scenarios.
It’s an annual event at Mayport based on real-life incidents, but this year there was a bit of a twist.
For the 2020 event at Mayport, the active shooter was a disgruntled sailor who got into an argument with his colleague before opening fire on board a ship. It was very similar to the active shooter situation that occurred at NAS Pensacola in which Navy police officers were forced to shoot one of their own.
"It’s someone we trust to be on our ship, and we don’t know what they bring on board,” said Lennard Cannon of the U.S. Navy. "He’s one of our quartermasters. We trust him to do the right thing.
After boarding the vessel and simulating the shooting of two Navy sailors, an active shooter alert was announced over the vessel’s loud speaker. The active shooter entered a classroom and took two other sailors hostage.
In the simulation, Navy police and special security teams swarmed the room, shooting the suspect and rescuing the hostages. Others aboard the ship followed orders to shelter in place.
Naval officials say active shooter drills like this one ensure all agencies are on the same page.
“We do this so that the Navy and the outside entities, including JSO and the fire department, coordinate and know what each other are going to do," Cannon said.
Navy personnel use the drill to evaluate any weaknesses in their defenses on the base or on their ships.