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GROTON — Naval Submarine Base New London, as well as naval bases and installations throughout the continental United States, will conductsecurity force drills and training in February.

The regularly-scheduled exercise will run from Feb. 4 to 15. “By simulating real-world responses to simulated real-world threats, this training allows us to stress different areas of our Naval Security Forces’ anti-terrorism program,” said Dave Cruz, training officer for the base. “It’s a great help to us in refining our responses and procedures.”

The training, titled "Solid Curtain - Citadel Shield 2019," is a two-part exercise. At the base, training will enhance the readiness of base forces to respond to threats to the base and its home-ported submarines.

Security forces may conduct drills along the waterfront that will include automatic weapons firing blanks. Other exercise scenarios may also range from events such as recognizing and countering base surveillance operations, to higher-tempo simulated emergencies such as an active shooter in a public area or building on the installation.

During some scenarios, base personnel and patrons at base activities will be required to briefly shelter in place. Network alert systems will distribute messages to office computers and the “giant voice system” will be used to immediately alert people throughout the base.

Cruz said measures have been taken to avoid disruptions to normal base operations, but there may be times when an  exercise scenario causes increased traffic around the base or delays base access. Area residents may also see increased security activity associated hear the firing of automatic weapons.

“We appreciate the understanding of our community and Groton neighbors,” Cruz said.

— Jason Vallee

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