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    Posted February 26, 2014 by
    Washington, District of Columbia

    Navy stations around the country lockdown for active shooter drills


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     cholakovv of the Medill News Service told me, 'The naval station's press officer negotiated with his higher-ups to allow media access to the drill, which was unusual and much appreciated—Navy officials are usually very wary, understandably, about allowing access to exercises. There were about 10 other reporters and cameramen along with me and Vesko. Basically, we just stayed behind Joe in designated areas so that we wouldn't interfere with the drill, but we were allowed to film everything. Joe set up interviews after the drill was complete with three officials, two of whom appear in our video. The drill was incredibly authentic—fake gun shots, artificial blood on the victims, screaming, etc. It was an exciting event to cover, although eerily realistic.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    WASHINGTON – Although not a response to the recent shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, a simulated emergency response exercise at a nearby Navy station this week provided an eerie glimpse inside an active shooter scenario and the tactics Defense Department police use to respond.

    Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling was one of dozens of naval stations across the country to take part in emergency response training, a two-week program to test each station’s readiness in case of a terrorist attack.

    During the simulation Tuesday, police officers wielding orange training weapons maneuvered through an office building at the base, eventually detaining the fictional shooter before helping victims covered in artificial blood.

    “When law enforcement initially respond to a scene, their mission is to make sure the scene is safe and if there are any threats, those threats are neutralized,” said Defense Department Police Capt. Carlos Ansley, who was the training coordinator. “As a law enforcement officer, it’s secondary to provide first aid. Their first mission is to make sure the scene is safe for everybody.”

    The training is aimed not only at the police officers, but at other staff at military installations to make sure they know what to do in the event of such an incident, said Navy Capt. Anthony Calandra, installation commander of JBAB.

    Calandra said training occurs every year and Tuesday’s exercise is not in response to a specific threat or a reaction to the mass shooting at the nearby Navy Yard last September that took 16 lives.

    “Today’s drill was the response to an active shooter,” he said. “We want to be fully prepared for this kind of situation if it were to happen [here].”

    — Vesko Cholakov, Ryan McCrimmon

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