Navy depot site in Northeast to be part of readiness drills

The U.S. Navy will conduct training and readiness drills across the nation next week. One of the facilities that will be affected is the Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, or, to the locals, the Naval supply depot, at Levick Street and Oxford Avenue.

The exercises “are designed to enhance the training and readiness of Navy security forces to respond to threats to installations and units,” the Navy stated in a news release last week.

The drills, dubbed Solid Curtain and Citadel Shield, will occur simultaneously, the Navy stated, and “will stress different areas of the Navy’s anti-terrorism program to enhance the training and readiness of Naval Security Force personnel to respond to real-world threats.”

The Navy said the drills are not in response to any specific threat.

The exercise will include an evacuation of the facility, police said last month. When exactly that will happen next week the Navy isn’t saying.

“There may be a likelihood there may be a disruption in traffic,” Navy spokesman Michael Randazzo said last week. He said he couldn’t discuss details of the exercises.

“Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases, increased first responder/emergency vehicle activity, or delays in base access,” the Navy stated in the news release.

More than 6,000 people work at the depot.

“Throughout the planning of this exercise, we engaged [Philadelphia police] and SEPTA with face-to-face meetings, e-mails and public outreach,” Randazzo stated in an e-mail to the Northeast Times. “This exercise did not require fire department participation.”

SEPTA bus routes 19, 24 and 67 service the depot.

“As of now, there are no plans for bus detours,” said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerria Williams.

The Philadelphia Navy Yard Annex in South Philadelphia also will be involved in the weeklong exercises.

Anyone with questions can call the base public affairs office at 215–697–5995 or look up Naval Support Activity Philadelphia on Facebook, Randazzo stated. ••