A van loaded with simulated explosives was used Wednesday during this year's exercise known as "Citadel Protect" at Naval Base San Diego.
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The annual exercise serves as a way to test security and rescue personnel. It is designed from real-life scenarios.
"It can happen, just like it did at Fort Hood, Texas so that's what we have to be ready for
for anything that's thrown at us," said Chief Petty Officer Michael Drew.
He was one of the observers of the event, which took place on a pier at the base.
Aside from the simulated blast from the van, security personnel on the base and on nearby ships also had to deal with a shooter scenario.
"They're the ones who will have to pull the trigger and they have my support because they have trained and trained and trained to be ready," said Capt. Winton Smith, the commanding officer of the base.
Aside from handling an attack from land, personnel were also tested by a simulated attack from the water.
Both scenarios are based on real-life events. In October 1983, a truck bomb exploded at the barracks for U.S. peacekeepers in Beirut, Lebanon. The explosion killed 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers.
In October 2000, a small inflatable boat exploded next to the USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 sailors.
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