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NAS Whidbey exercise next week uses laser sensors, blank ammo

Members of NAS Whidbey Island Security will be wearing Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System or MILES gear during the upcoming annual training exercise to assess installation force protection and anti-terrorism measures. Sensors (highlighted here) on the vest and end of the rifle provide real-time feedback during an engagement by registering whether or not an opponent has been hit. - U.S. Navy photo
Members of NAS Whidbey Island Security will be wearing Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System or MILES gear during the upcoming annual training exercise to assess installation force protection and anti-terrorism measures. Sensors (highlighted here) on the vest and end of the rifle provide real-time feedback during an engagement by registering whether or not an opponent has been hit.
— image credit: U.S. Navy photo

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station will be participating in a Navy-wide force protection exercise during the week of March 22.

Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield 10 is an annual training exercise conducted by the Navy to assess installation force protection and anti-terrorism measures employed by security forces.

This year, NAS Whidbey Island Security personnel will incorporate the use of MILES gear (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System) into several realistic training scenarios on Ault Field and Seaplane Base, according to news release from Kim Martin, public information officer.

MILES gear uses laser technology, special clothing and equipment to provide real-time feedback during an engagement by registering whether or not an opponent has been hit.

"MILES equipment uses blank ammunition so it will sound like live weapons firing, adding to the realism of the engagement," Martin said.

During the week-long exercise, people who work on or visit the base may see and hear gunfire in the vicinity of an ongoing scenario. Safety observers, in clearly marked vests or ball caps, will be posted at all training areas to ensure the safety of participants and non-participants.

Also, in order to test various force protections measures, people coming on and off the air station may encounter delays at the gates, temporary closure or detours of roads, increased identification procedures and announcements on the base public address system.

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