The Navy will impose intense security measures at the 32nd Street Naval Station today and Friday as part of a long-scheduled exercise to test base defenses against intruders, a Navy spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The security crackdown is a routine exercise and in no way related to the bombing last Friday of a van driven by the wife of Capt. Will Rogers III, said Julie Swan, public affairs officer for the base.
The exercise is expected to disrupt traffic and cause long delays for people and vehicles attempting to enter the base, Swan said. Base personnel will conduct random searches of vehicles entering the base and thoroughly check personal identification and vehicle decals, she said.
As part of the exercise, some base personnel will masquerade as “aggressors,” carrying fake weapons marked with bright orange or green tape or paint. Also, smoke devices and the firing of blanks will be used “to create a sense of reality” during the exercise, according to a statement prepared by base officials.
The biggest traffic problems are expected on the western portions of the base and on the freeways and ramps south of downtown San Diego, Swan said.
The areas east of Harbor Drive including the Navy Exchange and the commissary will not be included in the exercise.
Free Shuttle Buses
To alleviate traffic congestion, the Naval Station will operate free shuttle buses from the military housing areas at Murphy Canyon, Chesterton, Cabrillo Heights and Bayview Hills. Base officials have asked that people use car pools or public transportation and allow extra transit time.
The exercise is intended to “provide realistic training and give security forces and afloat units the opportunity to test surveillance and detection capabilities against potential infiltrators,” according to the Navy statement.
Those playing the role of aggressors will wear red armbands and be accompanied by a safety observer, who will be authorized to stop action at any time.
All of the role playing will take place within the base, Swan said.