Force Protection personnel at NAS Patuxent River responded to and engaged a mock armed suspect during a simulated hostage situation inside the post office on Cedar Point Road Feb. 3.

The scenario was part of Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain, the annual Navywide anti-terrorism, force protection exercise, held Feb. 1 to 12, which tests and evaluates installation force readiness against myriad security threats. The first week of the exercise, Citadel Shield, focused on installation-level training and all scenarios took place within the Pax River fenceline.

Week two’s Solid Curtain portion is a national-level exercise centered on command, control, and communications between all echelons Navywide, where everything that happens at one installation affects every other installation, if only in a minor way — such as a possible increase in an installation’s force protection condition.

“The exercise, which plays out over a two-week period, tests our Emergency Training Plan and pre-planned responses, and is a continuation of training for our forces,” explained Matt Nalley, Pax River’s installation training officer. “It allows us to evaluate whether we have the correct procedures in place in the event of an emergency situation; and any drills involving an integrated response will show how well departments such as security, fire, emergency management, and public works communicate and work with each other.”