Following severe, unexpected traffic problems during a weeklong, nationwide antiterrorism exercise last year, the U.S. Navy said it would take traffic into account for this year’s training event, held this week.
Navy officials reported traffic problems at bases nationwide—including San Diego, Mayport, Fla., and in the Pacific Northwest—due to heightened security surrounding the exercise. Vehicles trying to get on base were stuck for hours as Navy personnel checked IDs and inspected vehicles. This prevented both naval personnel and emergency vehicles from getting on base quickly, creating great risk in the event of an attack
Pedestrian traffic was heavily snarled as well; commuters, public transit and even school buses got caught up in delays.
According to the Navy, improved communication with local authorities will be the key to avoiding a repeat incident this year. For example, a Navy liaison will be stationed at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic command post during the exercise to help monitor traffic cameras, at VDOT’s invitation.
Navy officials have also spoken with the various local school districts, warning them on which days traffic will be especially bad. They could not comment on other specific traffic management measures due to security concerns.