Florida Keys News
Monday, February 17, 2014
Navy drill planned this week, beefed-up security

Residents and visitors can expect heightened security near all Florida Keys Navy installations beginning Tuesday through Friday as the military base participates in a nationwide terrorism drill.

The Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield exercise is the Navy's largest such annual exercise. The Navy is alerting residents and visitors, particularly those around the Truman Waterfront, that they may see and hear increased activity, said Naval Air Station Key West spokeswoman Trice Denny.

The drill is "not in response to any specific threat," but is a regularly scheduled exercise. Those around Truman Annex may hear officials use the loudspeaker system this week, as well as increased police presence at some point this week, but should not be alarmed, said NAS Key West commanding officer Capt. Steve McAlearney.

"When you access the base during this time, remember, you must always have your proper I.D. and vehicle documents with you," McAlearney said in a prepared statement. "Be patient, plan ahead if you need access to the base, and most of all, follow all the orders of our security forces."

The Navy is also alerting trolley tour businesses, cruise ships, as well as residents and visitors. There should not by any traffic concerns along U.S. 1 as in the past with some of the exercises, Denny said.

There will be noticeable increases in security at base gates, and residents may see heavily armed guards in those areas. Security checks are expected to take longer than usual, even for civilian vendors and contractors who have a RAPIDGate pass. Many vehicles that normally access bases with ease may be inspected during the drill.

The drill could involve simulated small-boat attacks on waterfront bases, roadside bombs, cyberattacks, active shooter scenarios and a slew of other simulated threats. The Navy doesn't disclose specifics of the exercise.

"It can be inconvenient, however, the training we gain from it is invaluable," Denny said.

For information about Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2014, call Naval Air Station Key West Public Affairs at 305-293-2027.


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