By Jon Gagne, Naval Air Station Kingsville Public Affairs
NAS KINGSVILLE, Texas (NNS) -- Naval Air Station Kingsville joined with community mutual aid partners to conduct an active shooter training exercise Feb. 20.
The training evolution focused on an active shooter at the command headquarters building targeting command leadership officials.
"This active shooter exercise was conducted as part of our command preparations for the annual Navywide Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield training," said NAS Kingsville commanding officer Capt. Chris Misner. "We made the training scenario as authentic as possible to allow us to fully test our Security personnel to respond effectively and communicate with our Mutual Aid partners like they would in a real-world event. Planning and execution was the key to success in this evolution, and lessons learned will prove to be invaluable for future active shooter training opportunities."
The shooter gained direct access to the building by climbing the stairwell and opening an unlocked door. He made his way down the hallway into the command suite and began shooting. The base commanding officer was one of his victims.
Once base security was notified of the attack, a shelter in place notice was passed and workers in the building, mostly civilian employees, locked their doors and hid in a designated 'safe place.'
NAS Kingsville security responded by sending teams to cordon off the area to traffic and set a response perimeter. They also dispatched two personnel to approach the building. Once inside, they began checking office spaces, eventually locating the shooter and cornering him. They then provided a radio update on the situation to security officials, who then contacted the Kingsville Police Department asking for assistance.
When the Kingsville SWAT team arrived on scene, control of the response was turned over to them. Asst. Security Officer Carlos Jones briefed the SWAT team on the status.
"With recent events on DoD installations involving active shooter, the training conducted yesterday at NAS Kingsville provided valuable training for our Force Protection team and our mutual aid partners," Jones said. "Our security forces established a combined Incident Command post, deployed the first response team, and secured the scene while awaiting the arrival of the Kingsville SWAT team to apprehend the active shooter. Communications and execution went pretty smoothly."
NAS Kingsville first responders included Fire and Emergency Services, security, safety and the Installation Training Team. NAS Kingsville Training Officer Jim Lawrence coordinated the exercise.
"Conducting base-wide training exercises like this active shooter event, enhances knowledge for all personnel that work at NAS Kingsville," Lawrence said. "Being able to exercise with our mutual aid partners like the Kingsville Police Department's SWAT team brings a tremendous amount of experience in law enforcement during valuable training evolutions for all of our first responders."
Lawrence added that sharing procedures, protocols and response for any incident that could occur on the installation is critical to mission accomplishment. He also stressed the training exercises need to be conducted safely while still challenging personnel that would have to respond to incidents at their work places.
"Training continues to be the driving factor on how personnel react and respond to incidents," he said.