NAS participates in security exercise

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MERIDIAN NAVAL AIR STATION, Miss. (WTOK) - Military members and civilian staff were put under pressure Wednesday, as NAS Meridian took part in a nationwide active shooter drill. The training exercise was designed to be as realistic as possible.

Active shooter drills have become a normal part of life for many Americans and members of the military are no exception.

"Prepare for the worst and pray for the best, right?" said NAS Meridian Commanding Officer, Capt. Brian Horstman.

"The threat of terrorism, the threat of active shooters, the threat of bomb scares is always a reality," said Cmdr. J.P. Falardeau, executive officer of NAS Meridian. :However, this exercise in particular is an annual exercise, put on by the larger Navy enterprise."

Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain was designed to prepare the base for any unexpected threat. The simulation involved a woman with a gun gaining access to the fire station near the flight line and taking hostages.

First responders rushed to the scene, before a specially trained deputy negotiated with the suspect.

As you'd expect in any major incident, Metro Ambulance is called upon to treat the casualties, while Meridian Fire is on standby.

Horstman says it's important all agencies work together to deal with emergency situations.

"Whether it be Lauderdale County Sheriff, EOD, Meridian Fire, any of those folks who come out and help us out is much appreciated and it's what makes us great," Horstman said.

Newscenter 11 will be doing more stories of this kind, sharing the lives of men and women who serve our county in a new series, Military Matters. If you have a story you think should be told, email kate.gibson@wtok.com.