New London Submarine Base to conduct annual drills

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GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) will conduct annual Naval Security Force drills and training, during a major exercise among naval bases and installations throughout the continental United States.

The regularly scheduled exercise, set for Jan. 30-Feb. 10, is not in response to any specific threat. The training will focus on different areas of the Navy’s anti-terrorism program by simulating real-world threats. it will enhance naval base security forces responses to threats on the base and its homeported submarines.

 “We’ll simulate real-world threats as realistically as we can, and test our local responses,” said Commander Cory Dyer, SUBASE Executive Officer.   “The training will be extremely valuable as it helps us exercise and refine our programs and procedures.”

At the highest levels, the two-part, linked Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) exercise will be conducted and directed by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command.

Exercise scenarios throughout the period may range from events such as recognizing and countering base surveillance operations, to higher-tempo simulated emergencies such as a small boat attack on the base waterfront or an active shooter in a public area or building on the installation.

SUBASE exercise scenarios will not only test security force personnel and their responses but also engage other base emergency responders as well as the base community at large. During some scenarios, base personnel and patrons at base activities will be required to briefly shelter in place.

Additionally on Monday, January 30, and on or about Tuesday, February 7, as part of the exercise, SUBASE may increase its Force Protection Condition.  Base access would be limited during these occasions and the local area traffic pattern may be impacted.

Many communication tools will be used to keep SUBASE personnel informed about exercise security situations. Computer network alert systems will distribute messages to office computers and the “giant voice system” will be used to immediately alert people base-wide.  [The giant voice system is an outdoor intercom loud enough to alert anyone outside on base of a potential threat.]

Measures have been taken to avoid disruptions to normal base operations, but there may be times when a particular exercise scenario briefly causes increased traffic around the base or briefly delays base access. Area residents may also see increased security activity associated with the training event.

“Even with our best planning and communications, some drills within the exercise may have a slight impact outside our fence-line,” said Dyer. “If this occurs, we very much appreciate the patience and understanding of our community and neighbors.”

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