You may see emergency responders around Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday for active shooter exercises

Naval Station Norfolk Gate 5
Posted at 9:13 AM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 23:47:00-05

NORFOLK, Va. - If you live or will be near Naval Station Norfolk, don't be alarmed if you hear or see extra emergency responders Wednesday morning.

The Navy said Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk will partner with local government and community organizations to conduct an active shooter exercise at the installations Air Operations building on December 8 starting around 9 a.m.

Those in the vicinity of the exercise area may see or hear an influx of law enforcement and first responders on the airside of the installation. In addition, the Navy said the installations Giant Voice system will be used to announce information about the exercise. Personnel should not be alarmed. The evolution is only an exercise and not a response to a real threat.

“This exercise will allow us to improve and test our Security Forces and First Responders. Additionally we will see how all participating entities work together during the stress of a realistic simulation,” said Capt. David Dees, Naval Station Norfolk Commanding Officer. “This event will identify areas to improve how we coordinate and communicate internally and with the participating organizations.”

The Navy's press release said this exercise is a cooperative effort and took four months of planning between NAVSTA Norfolk’s Security Forces, NAVSTA Norfolk Fire and Emergency Services, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Norfolk Police Department and Norfolk Fire and Emergency Services.

In addition to the activity at the exercise site, the Navy said members of NAVSTA Norfolk’s Emergency Management Team will have the opportunity to test and operate out of the newly constructed Emergency Operations Center. The state of the art 5,100 square foot facility will officially open December 7. As opposed to the previous EOC, the new facility allows everyone to operate out of the same space, hearing the same communications, ultimately allowing everyone to have the same situational awareness. It also provides additional spaces for group breakout sessions and for conducting training.

"The most precious resource we have here is our people," said David Dees, the Commanding Officer of Naval Station Norfolk. "We have national assets that are extremely important but we can’t do any of that without the people. So this is a tool that allows us to make sure we keep them safe."

Naval Station Norfolk activates the EOC about once every 40 days.

The EOC is activated for many different reasons, including an active shooter, gas leak, bomb threat, or other threats to security.

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