Increased traffic, gate closures and restricted boat access through Anaheim Bay can be expected over the next two weeks while personnel at the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station participate in a nationwide security exercise.
The exercise, called Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2019, started Monday, Feb. 4, and continues through Feb. 15. It is the Navy’s largest security exercise of the year. Training includes a wide range of drills related to potential security threats.
“Residents may also see increased military and civilian law enforcement activity associated with the exercise, and the station’s ‘Giant Voice’ mass notification loudspeaker system may be used,” said Gregg Smith, spokesman for the Seal Beach base.
Training includes tactical drills in the field focusing on incidents such as an active shooter, attempts to penetrate base entry points or defending against small boat attacks. Navy personnel work on the base’s command, control and communications capabilities and the emergency operations center. They will also drill on how to best bring the base back to full operation following a security incident.
On Jan. 28, a boat carrying a dozen foreign nationals – 10 from China and two from Mexico – landed inside Anaheim Bay and the people ran along the rocks near the Navy base. Base personnel were the first to approach them. The 10 later went over a fence into the community of Surfside and were apprehended by local authorities. They are now in federal custody.
Smith said the incident has nothing to do with the planned security drill and any “lessons learned” were not something he would discuss.
About 240 uniformed military personnel and 525 civilians work at the base.
The base serves an average of 40 Navy ships a year – currently, there is one Navy ship at the wharf. Ships typically stay at the base an average of three days loading and unloading munitions. Most of the ships serviced at the base have San Diego as their home port.
Live updates are posted on the station’s Facebook page, facebook.com/NWSSealBeach.
© 2019 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
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