Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
An exercise simulating individuals protesting in support of the environment was held Tuesday at the front gate of Naval Air Station Meridian.
The mock protest on board NAS Meridian was held in conjunction with the annual force protection and anti-terrorism exercise Citadel Shield (CS) 2013 which is conducted on naval bases and installations throughout the continental United States annually. Citadel Shield is designed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security forces to respond to threats to installations and units throughout the U.S.
"We use realistic scenarios to ensure U.S. Navy and security forces maintain a high level of readiness to respond to dynamic threats," said Capt. Charles C. Moore II, commanding officer, NAS Meridian. "It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our equipment, and, more importantly, our Sailors and their families, as well as Navy civilians and contractors.
"Exercises like these help us to be prepared to respond to various situations and threats. The objective is to train our personnel to understand and respond to terrorist events, or any event, that might target or threaten NAS Meridian. Citadel Shield combines the installation's security forces, first responders, police, safety personnel, tenant commands, and emergency management. These departments are the backbone of our installation and are normally the first to respond to incidents."
Meridian's Installation Training Team planned the drill for months and brought together the different departments to exercise their response to emergency situations.
"It is critical to what we do," said Chuck Martin, NAS Meridian Installation Training Team. "The scenario gives departments much needed training -- from the watch-standers at the entry control points all the way up to the commanding officer that has to make the critical decisions."
This year's exercise also involved the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department who responded to assist base security with crowd control.