PORT HADLOCK — Naval Magazine Indian Island is conducting exercises this week in and around its facility and in Port Townsend Bay near the installation’s port security barrier.
The anti-terrorism/force protection exercises started Monday and are not in response to any specific threat, according to a Monday press release.
According to Public Affairs Officer Phillip Guerrero, the Command Assessment Readiness for Training Exercise uses realistic scenarios to ensure Navy security forces maintain a high level of readiness to respond to changing and dynamic threats.
Area residents and local boaters might see or hear such activities as simulated shooter attacks and activated emergency response vehicles.
“The exercises are planned and well-coordinated events which will have no impact on the local community,” Guerrero said in a Monday email. “The exercise on [Thursday] is being conducted in Port Townsend Bay, near the Naval Magazine (NAVMAG) Indian Island port security barrier. The current plan is to have a U.S. Coast Guard small boat approximately 600 yards off the port security barrier to advise any mariners to stay away from the port security barrier area. Additionally, our press release is going to be used by the U.S. Coast Guard to transmit a notice to mariners advisory.”
Training includes gunfire simulation and a heightened law enforcement presence at the installation’s waterfront.
Blank gunfire rounds might be heard Wednesday and Thursday, according to the press release.
Guerrero said there are only two exercises, one Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at NAVMAG. The second drill is scheduled for Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Port Townsend Bay.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Coast Guard are planning to participate in the second exercise. No other exercises will be conducted.
Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to the community and normal base operations.
However, there could be increased traffic in and around the installation and delays in gaining access to the facility.
“The assessment team is arriving from the East Coast and will consist of up to 10 people. An additional 5-10 people will participate from the Bangor area,” Guerrero said.
The Navy coordinated with local law enforcement and first responders prior to the start of the training, the release stated.
These exercises are conducted by the Commander, Navy Installations Command on all continental Navy installations within an assessment cycle.
They are designed to ensure readiness of Navy security and seamless inter-operability among the commands, other services and agency partners, according to the press release.
“NAVMAG is committed to maintaining a high level of readiness and coordinating with mutual aid partners and first responders,” said Commander Rocky Pulley, the magazine’s commanding officer. “Ensuring the safety of Navy equipment, and more importantly, service members, families, Navy civilians and contractors, is a top priority.”
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].