News: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
Story by Lance Cpl. Samuel Ranney
BARSTOW, Calif. - If a gunman can shoot and kill 12 people, and injure three during a shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command, inside the Washington Navy Yard, then it can happen anywhere, to include Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif.
To prepare for emergency situations like the Navy Yard, MCLB Barstow put on a full-scale active shooter training exercise, Dec. 18, at the headquarters building of the base.
"We went through and designed an (exercise) based on a potential scenario that could happen in Barstow. There’s a large civilian population working here; with furloughs and other lay-offs, the possibility of a disgruntled employee is very possible,” said Mikel Alford, team leader for Regional Exercise Team West. “We incorporated that (possibility) into the scenario. An individual lost his right to work … was no longer able to support his family, then came into (the headquarters building) with a gun, looking for the (executive officer) who fired him.”
The mission of the exercise team is to create full-scale emergency scenarios, from terrorist attacks to cyber warfare, and evaluate how Marine Corps base personnel handle the situation, explained Alford.
The exercise was full-scale, said Patrick Wolcott, security officer on MCLB Barstow and exercise director for the scenario. We had role players covered in fake blood and wounds, pretending to be either dead or injured and a bad guy, using a theatrical gun.
In the month of December alone, there have been eight actual active shootings across the nation, Wolcott explained. It could happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. The more mentally prepared and aware everyone on base as a whole is, the safer MCLB Barstow will be.