Gulfport Seabee base conducts anti-terrorism drill - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Seabee base conducts anti-terrorism drill

The exercise was as realistic as possible, real world and real time. (Photo source: WLOX) The exercise was as realistic as possible, real world and real time. (Photo source: WLOX)
Soon after the multiple 911 calls, base security was on the scene and moving quickly toward the building. (Photo source: WLOX) Soon after the multiple 911 calls, base security was on the scene and moving quickly toward the building. (Photo source: WLOX)
The entire Seabee base was locked down for about an hour during the drill. (Photo source: WLOX) The entire Seabee base was locked down for about an hour during the drill. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Thankfully, it was only an exercise. Two armed terrorists stormed a building at the Seabee base in Gulfport Friday morning and opened fire. It was part of a Navy wide anti-terrorist training drill.

Suddenly, just seconds into the rampage, one of the gunmen takes out his partner then himself. Less than 30 seconds into the mock mass shooting, the two gunmen lay dead.

“They came in, mentioned someone's name and then just started shooting people,” said a wounded man who managed to call 911. “Appeared to be a shotgun and some sort of pistol.”

Soon after the multiple 911 calls, base security was on the scene and moving quickly toward the building.

“There's a lot of unknowns when security comes in here, and they have to secure the scene before we have the medical providers come in. There's some time involved there to make sure we don't have more wounded and have all the suspects taken care of,” said Seabee commanding officer Capt. Paul Odenthal.

“You been shot,” asked a security guard, as he and his partner swept the building.

“I got shot in the butt,” was the reply from a man on the floor. “She's bleeding out over here; barely has a pulse,” he told the officer.

The wounded begin to wonder when medical help is coming.

“Play it up. Where is the ambulance,” one of the observers instructs those doing the role playing.'

“The two shooters are down. We need medical services rolling in,” said a wounded man on yet another 911 call.

For all first responders, communication is critical.

“It's extremely important. These are things that can happen anytime, and we drill these routinely to make sure we're ready for the incidents if they actually occur,” said Odenthal.

“Anybody else,” asked an EMS tech, as he and his team helped triage the injured.

“No, I got right here to this room,” said his partner.

The exercise was as realistic as possible, real world and real time. A review of the drill, once it's finished, will show areas of strength and weakness.

“Keeping the focus and the vigilance for everyone to understand that we take these drills seriously, and that we work through the scenario and make sure we're all prepared. Everyone on the base,” said Odenthal.

“We are transporting one red, one yellow with base ambulance,” the radio blared.

The entire Seabee base was locked down for about an hour during the drill. When it was over, Odenthal held a mock news conference to practice dealing with the media.

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