Security exercise may affect Whidbey Island Naval Air Station access

An annual security exercise at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station March 19 through 24 could affect entrance to the base.

Exercise Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield 2012 is being conducted on naval bases and installations throughout the continental United States, and is designed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy Security Forces. While measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to normal base operations, there could be increased traffic around the base or delays in base access.

“During certain security measures, we will go down to a one-gate operation,” said John Spencer, site manager of non-guard services on NAS Whidbey.

There could be other disruptions during the drill week as well, including changes to work schedules, according to Kimberly Martin, NAS Whidbey Island Public Affairs Officer, who said there will be days when only mission-essential personnel will be asked to report. She urged personnel to check the base’s status before they are scheduled to work. Go to to look for status updates and announcements during the drill.

The Navy-wide drill is an annual exercise and is not a response to any specific threat. It is made to seem as realistic as possible, and for good reason, said Spencer.

“The only way to learn is to drill as real as you possibly can,” he said. “You don’t learn lessons if you treat it as phony.”


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