mock disaster, real lessons: exercise solid curtain feb23-27

from virginian-pilot: The Navy is conducting a massive anti-terrorism exercise this week in Hampton Roads – as well as at every base and installation in the continental United States. Fifteen months in the planning, Operation Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield is the largest force-protection exercise in the nation, said Capt. Sam McCormick, the director of fleet anti-terrorism at the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.

Just how big is it? “How many sailors are there in the Hampton Roads area?” McCormick said . “That’s how many will be involved.”

McCormick went on to say that every single Navy person in the “Northcom AOR” – that’s shorthand for the Northern Command Area of Responsibility, which covers the continental United States, Canada and Mexico – will be affected by the exercise “in one way or another.”

Mostly, that means a heightened state of readiness, like tighter security at entrance gates and additional watches for ships at the pier. It also means there will be “red forces” – folks pretending to be enemy agents – attempting to infiltrate bases physically or through cyberspace.

McCormick likened the exercise to playing zone defense. “You don’t play man to man with this,” McCormick said. “You try to present a hardened appearance, you know what you can do, you create defense in depth, you center on your high-value assets and personnel, and then you create multiple overlapping layers of protection.”

He said he couldn’t put a price tag on the nationwide exercise, which is the fifth of its kind for the Navy. Military contractors are helping with the plans. Oh, and don’t expect to learn what installations were most easily breached. The results of the aptly named Solid Curtain will be classified.

flashback: military exercise ‘solid curtain’ from sept 14-21 2007

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