The Navy conducted active shooter drills at NAS North Island Tuesday. The drills were part of an 11-day training exercise involving Naval Base command, Homeland Security, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and the Coronado Police Department. The annual operation was dubbed “Exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield.”
The training was meant to help Navy personnel increase their readiness. In the simulation, a person walked into a building and opened fire. Participants wearing fake blood to signify injuries ran out of buildings. The purpose was to make the training seem as realistic as possible. Fire and rescue personnel were also on-scene.
Gunnar Newquist with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said the training focused on eliminating the shooter.
“Once that threat is neutralized then we go sweep the building and make sure it's safe,” Newquist said.
In 2013 an active shooter at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. killed 12 people. Newquist said tactics have changed since then.
“If you go back to some of the other shootings, we were all concerned about getting people out and getting them safe,” he said. “As long as that person is shooting, we're going to eliminate that threat.”
The Navy said the operation is not aimed at any specific threat, but rather to “enable assessment of the Navy and civilian law enforcements response to attacks.”
Personnel participating in the training completed online coursework prior to the exercises. The training was expected to cause significant delays around the base, specifically at Naval Medical Center San Diego.
The large-scale exercises were part of more than 300 happening across the country. The drills run through Feb. 9.