This week, NAS Whiting Field held their annual Citadel Shield anti-terrorism and force protection drills.

It took approximately eight months to prepare for the drills, according to Rudy Mendiola, NAS Whiting Field training officer. The exercises test the base's security, administration and instillation teams.

"This is how we improve our program," Mendiola said. "The greatest information we get (from these drills) are lessons learned."

Each instillation develops their own drill based on needs unique to their own station. The two drills developed for security teams at Whiting Field dealt with a protest and an active shooter.

The personnel were tested on seven of eight objectives - they were not trained for all eight since Whiting Field doesn't have a pier or port. The objectives included examining the security forces' ability to take immediate action when unauthorized personnel attempted to gain access; assessing the reserve security forces' capability to reinforce designated installations; and testing the stations capability to activate their Auxiliary Security Force in response to implementation of an elevated force protection condition.

On Wednesday morning, teams responded to a protest staged at the east gate. The protestors dispersed without violence.

On Thursday, a simulated active shooter entered the Operation Security Building and took several "causalities."

Teams searched the building for the "shooter," who ultimately took his own life. After securing multiple levels of the building and checking for more shooters, the drill ended. Communication procedures are also tested while teams report to Commander, Navy Installations Command.

The next scheduled exercise at Whiting Field is a hurricane drill in May.