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Navy Submarine Base to conduct live firing drills

Groton — The Naval Submarine Base and its Naval Security Force will participate in Navywide exercises called “Citadel Protect” next week, with training and drills being conducted along the base’s waterfront.

The activity will occur April 26-30 and May 3-7 and will include live automatic weapons firing with blanks. Drills will involve the submarine base security boats, simulated aggressor boats, submarines and waterfront facilities.

The “Citadel Protect” will continue the submarine base’s efforts to “enhance the readiness of base Naval Security Forces to respond to threats to the base and its home ported submarines,” the Navy said in a statement.

The live-fire training and drills, commonly referred to as “machine gun sustainment training,” are scheduled to occur between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 28. There is also planned low-light training, also known as “Night Training,” that is expected to occur during sunset hours and conclude shortly before full darkness.

“If our neighbors or base personnel hear gunfire or something of concern at any other time, then they should report it immediately for the proper authorities to investigate,” said Dave Cruz, the submarine base training officer.

Cruz also underscored the extensive coordination and planning for the exercises that has involved the Coastal Riverine Units, Harbor Security Units, Navy Security Forces, U.S. Coast Guard, Submarine Forces and local law enforcement, as well as a cadre of base personnel. A large team of training and safety observers also will be involved to ensure the strictest safety factors.

Additionally, Cruz and the base have been communicating with local officials, emergency managers and the media with the overarching goal to help keep the community “situationally aware” of the noise associated with the live firing with blanks.

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