MARINE CORPS SUPPORT FACILITY BLOUNT ISLAND, Fla. --
Editor’s note: Article and photos provided by Marine Corps Logistics Command
Marines, Sailors, civilian-Marines, Coast Guard, Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island police and Jacksonville rescue services participated in a comprehensive anti-terrorism/force protection exercise held here recently.
Smoke on the Water 2013 is an exercise, which plays out a complex terrorist attack and hostage scenario in an effort to evaluate the installation’s ability to activate, recall and fully staff emergency response personnel during a time of crisis.
Role players posed as terrorists and breached port security by boat, throwing smoke grenades on the dock for cover while engaging unarmed civilians with small arms fire.
Once ashore, a role-player took a hostage while another engaged the quick-responding Marine Corps Police Department aboard the installation.
The Emergency Operations Center assessed the response times of emergency services, while the MCPD used its tactical training and weapons handling during the initial response.
During the exercise scenario, a terrorist fired upon dock workers creating multiple injuries and took a hostage.
With the aid of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, emergency response personnel were able to transport simulated casualties to the casualty collection point, simulating movement to a local hospital.
Providing medical care as an emergency shock trauma unit were corpsmen from MCSFBI.
Additionally, Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from Naval Station Mayport, Fla., were on scene to conduct a controlled demolition of an explosive role-players threatened installation police with during the scenario, successfully proving their ability to render safe the explosive.
Meanwhile, at the EOC set up at a safe distance away, the command staff took part in processing the information in the National Incident Management System through the application of the Incident Command System and use of a Common Operating Picture during incident response and recovery efforts.
In the water, the Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted with port security, locking down the area, alerting the local populace and ensuring no through traffic, as they would in a real-life scenario.
The comprehensive exercise was successful in terms of gauging the installation’s ability to respond to threats.