GROTON, Conn. – During February 03 – 07, Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) and its Naval Security Force will participate in Exercise “Citadel Shield,” and conduct various training evolutions and drills on the installation and along the base’s waterfront. Some of the training events may impact traffic and base access as gates or roads on the base may be temporarily closed. Additionally, some of the training events will include live automatic weapons firing with blanks.

A regularly-scheduled, Navy-wide exercise, “Citadel Shield,” will continue SUBASE efforts to enhance the readiness of base Naval Security Forces to respond to threats to the base and its homeported submarines.

Drills will involve SUBASE Security force mobile units, boats, simulated role players, aggressor boats, submarines, and waterfront facilities. As in the past few years, many drills will also involve live automatic weapons firing with blanks.

Moreover, to accurately test the base’s ability to communicate, the public affairs office may publish exercise-related posts on social media in support of the exercise. These messages will be prefaced with “EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE” to avoid any misunderstanding. For example, if the installation is performing an active threat exercise, a social media post may read, “EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Naval Submarine New London is currently in lockdown.

If an actual incident occurs during Exercise Citadel Shield, there will not be an EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE preface on social media posting. As there is a potential for misunderstanding, the base public affairs office will clarify the veracity of a reported incident for our media partners.

According to Dave Cruz, SUBASE Training Officer, events including live-fire training and drills with blanks are scheduled to occur between the hours of 09:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m.

“If our neighbors or base personnel hear gunfire or something of concern at any other time, then they should report it immediately for the proper authorities to investigate,” emphasized Cruz.

Cruz also underscored the extensive coordination and planning for the exercises that has involved Navy Security Forces, Harbor Security Units, local law enforcement, and a cadre of base personnel. A large team of training and safety observers will be involved during the drills to ensure the strictest safety parameters.

Additionally, Cruz and the base have been communicating with local officials, emergency managers, and the media with the overarching goal to help keep the community “situationally aware” of the noise associated with the live firing with blanks.

For Cruz, the comprehensive efforts involved with the drills and the weapons firing with blanks are key to increasing proficiency. “It all about striving to add realism as we test ourselves and seek to improve,” said Cruz.

Connecticut Media Group