CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton conducted Exercise Semper Durus, a full-scale base Force Protection exercise, June 15 – 19.
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.
"Marine Corps Installations – West has a mission to protect and support our operational forces and families,” said Col. Gregory Martin, assistant chief of staff for operations, exercises and plans. “There are numerous threats that we train and exercise so that when the time comes, we are ready, willing and able to perform that mission.”
Leadership established an Emergency Operations Center on base which responded to numerous simulated threats throughout the exercise, such as a hazardous materials contamination, an active shooter and various command and control challenges.
“The training is vital to maintaining constant readiness for any crisis,” said Cpl. Riley Millar, corporal of the guard for 21 Area during an active shooter exercise. “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.”
In addition to base units such as the 21 Area Guard, the Provost Marshal’s Office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, other military and civilian organizations came together to react to the scenarios.
The Camp Pendleton Fire Department, the San Diego County Environmental Health Department, and the U.S. Army’s 9th Civil Support Team also contributed to the exercise in an effort to increase interoperability between the groups.
“The exercise provided individual skills training and increased the coordination for the groups involved,” said Tom Kircher, regional Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive protection officer. “Increased interoperability and proficiency means we’re able to respond more effectively to real-world threats.”