CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The 21 Area Guard, the Provost Marshal’s Office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted an active shooter response exercise at the 21 Area Single Marine Program building at Camp Del Mar, June 17.
The exercise was conducted in conjunction with Exercise Semper Durus, a full-scale base Force Protection exercise from June 15 – 19. Exercise Semper Durus is a regional command post exercise and is comprised of a series of field training scenarios designed to improve regional command and control, enhance interagency coordination, and improve installation capabilities to respond to, and recover from, a crisis event and validate the installation mission assurance all-hazard plan.
The scenario began with an actor simulating the shooting of role players at the SMP building. The 21 Area Guard Force responded with a reaction team that engaged and neutralized the shooter.
“The exercise allows us to review our techniques, tactics and procedures to make sure we are ready for a real-world situation and increase our interoperability with the other departments,” said Cpl. Riley Millar, corporal of the guard for 21 Area. After clearing the building of threats, the 21 Area Guard Force transferred command of the incident to base PMO and NCIS.
“The training is vital to maintaining constant readiness for any crisis,” said Millar. “This exercise brings together all our training and enables us to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, and that is crucial to saving as many lives as possible when these situations come up.”
At the end of the exercise, NCIS investigated the scene by interviewing witnesses to gather intelligence and form an accurate profile of the incident and suspect.
“This exercise provides as much training for NCIS as it does the base,” said Paul Hayes, acting special agent in charge, NCIS, Marine Corps Installations – West. “The only way to ensure we have the appropriate communication between services is with a large-scale exercise that includes all the working parts as in a real-world crisis.”
Base personnel have conducted other drills as part of Semper Durus such as a hazardous materials and lockdown exercise.