Saturday, April 20, 2024

Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Personnel Participate in Week 2 of Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2024

 

YORKTOWN — The team of U.S. Navy Sailors and civilians assigned to Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Yorktown concluded their participation in Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2024 (CS-SC24) this week.

The team returned a day after Super Bowl Sunday and conducted training and realistic drills throughout Valentine’s Day Week which demonstrated the installation’s ability to react to and mitigate exposure to a prolonged threat.

Week two of the exercise, named Solid Curtain, is the command post exercise led by U.S. Fleet Forces Command. The two-week-long exercise was designed to enhance the readiness of installation security forces and ensure seamless interoperability among the various tenant commands onboard the installation, other services and agency partners with the unified goal of protecting life, equipment and facilities. CS-SC24 also establishes a learning environment to exercise functional plans and operational capabilities.

“The annual exercise is designed to enhance the readiness of our Navy security forces and ensure seamless interoperability among the commands, other services and our community partners,” said Rear Adm. Wesley McCall, commander of the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic Region. “We are able to test our ability to prepare for, deter, and respond to potential threats.”

Unique to NWS Yorktown was a simulated hazardous material exposure drill. This required security personnel stationed at the installation’s weapons pier to don personal protective equipment as they kept watch over the York River within sight of the Coleman Bridge during a small portion of their watch. Sean McDonald, one of the installation’s Law Enforcement Instructors, visited various watch stations at the pier throughout the week, including on Valentine’s Day, and helped pier sentries don HAZMAT suits and chemical masks. This allowed the opportunity to become acutely familiar with the equipment and also allowed for the simulated practice of decontaminating from exposure to a hazardous material.

The installation’s Emergency Operations Center simulated an evacuation to a contingency site to conduct command and control operations. This was a relatively new training drill that ensured seamless continuity of operations and communications with responding personnel from various departments and tenant commands onboard the installation.

Members of the installation’s Installation Management Team (IMT) kept busy coordinating environmental monitoring and mitigation efforts, emergency response efforts and the simulated evacuation of personnel and residents from the installation and surrounding communities. Additionally, operating from a contingency site allowed an opportunity for critical information dissemination, tested individual response plans and tested the ability to coordinate with area law enforcement and first responders.

While members of the IMT kept busy during the week, members of NWS Yorktown’s Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) also simulated an activation. In a real emergency, members from the installation’s Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) would staff the EFAC at the direction of installation or regional leadership in the event of an incident affecting the installation. The EFAC provides a consolidated staging area where DoD families and individuals can obtain disaster relief assistant and/or support, current information from leadership, and contingency services and provided a point for continuous, authoritative and factual information and referral assistance for Service members, families, service providers, leadership and other stakeholders.

A conference room inside the FFSC served as a venue for a tabletop exercise (TTX), which included members from NWS Yorktown’s FFSC, Installation Training Officer, Installation Housing, Housing Contractors, Branch Medical Clinic, leadership from the Public Affairs Office and persons from the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society. During this particular TTX, members of the EFAC discussed mitigation, monitoring and evacuation plans which even included plans to address the pets of military residents who would need to evacuate from the installation’s housing areas.

Solid Curtain week concluded for all U.S. Navy Installations within the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Area of Operations with a much anticipated Final Exercise (FINEX) message transmitted from the Regional Operations Center on Friday afternoon. This also signaled a return to normal operations and concluded a busy two-week training event for the dedicated team at NWS Yorktown.

For information about future exercises and events, follow NWS Yorktown’s social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, readers can contact the installation public affairs officer at 757-752-1304-mobile, 757-887-4939-desk or Max.Q.Lonzanida.Civ@us.navy.mil.

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