GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Security forces at the Seabee Base in Gulfport on Wednesday better prepared themselves for any threat that could come their way. It was part of an annual two-week training exercise known as “Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020.”
In Wednesday’s scenario, security forces took down an active shooter in the barracks. But that was just the beginning of the chaos. In a nearby building was another active shooter.
That time, Gulfport police sprung into action. They were one of the many outside agencies participating in that exercise.
“We’ve never had an exercise this big though, with this many responding agencies or this many people, so we just really wanted to see what would really happen," said training officer Katie Morrison.
Morrison said they expanded this year’s training in response to recent tragedies.
“We just had that active shooter situation in Pensacola. Those are our neighbors. We constantly train, we do a lot more behind the scenes than the rest of the base sees, but we’re always training. But this is the only way for us to really see how if this really happened to see how our partners outside of the fence line would come and help us,” she said.
This drill was designed to seem as real as possible, even using simulated gunfire with actual nonlethal projectiles.
Plenty of notes were taken to find areas for improvement.
“It was intense, definitely gets your adrenaline going. It’s what we train for-- in case something like this happens-- to ensure that we can safely and secure the base, so we can ensure the safety of everyone on board,” said Master Sgt. 1st Class George Wyrick.
It was invaluable training for all involved.
“It helps our capabilities, not only our capabilities, but it also helps us understand what they’re capable of doing too. And the more we practice together, things just seem to flow a little easier,” said George Carver, Chief of Emergency Services for AMR.
This two-week training involves naval bases across the country.