Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
WASHINGTON - Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces and Commander, Navy Installations Command will conduct an annual Force Protection and Anti-Terrorism exercise Citadel Shield 2013 on naval bases and installations throughout the continental United States beginning today, and continuing through March 1.
This annual exercise is designed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security forces to respond to threats to installations and units. The Citadel Shield exercise will test different areas of the Navy's anti-terrorism program to enhance the training and readiness of naval security force personnel to respond to real-world threats.
"The purpose of the exercise is to ensure that we are ready to respond to changing and dynamic threats at all times. Protecting our Navy installations is extremely important," said Capt. Chris Moore, commanding officer, NAS Meridian. "Safeguarding our Navy personnel, families, veterans, retirees, base visitors, and equipment at home is the first step in mission accomplishment. If we wait until someone is already on base to take action, it is already too late."
Increased patrols on and around Navy installations are expected, including at NAS Meridian, as a result of this planned exercise. The exercise is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly scheduled exercise.
"The ability to safeguard our naval installations allows us to keep our homeland safe and protect U.S. interests overseas," Moore said. "Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to normal base and station operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around the base or delays in base access. Personnel are encouraged to plan accordingly. "