MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania --
Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 stood up an evacuation control center in support of a simulated crisis contingency aboard Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Base, Romania, March 3, 2013.
The training simulates an evacuation hub where Marines participating as role players passed through an entry control point, a security station, an additional screening station and then an evacuation simulation.
“This entry control point (ECP) is a crucial point to the evacuation site,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jose Reese, the acting company first sergeant for the Logistics Combat Element, and a St. Louis, Missouri native. “These Marines and sailors encounter all types of people and have to screen them to determine they bring no threat to anyone inside the site.”
The Marines working inside the ECP did not know what to expect. Some role players were just normal citizens, while some had simulated bombs, contraband and terroristic notes inside their shoes.
“My part as a role-player was simple, gain entry into the ECP,” said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Dudash, a role-player for today’s simulation, and a Bunker Hill, West Virginia native. “I was simulating an average U.S. citizen with no family simply gaining entry into the evacuation point.”
The Marines and sailors ran several scenarios trying to cover all aspects of what could happen for training purposes.
“We had one guy who acted nervous who was simulating sneaking knives into the ECP,” said Dudash. “The Marines working the ECP caught onto him by identifying signs such as nervousness and being evasive with his answers and were able to effectively detain him.”
Other role-players had different objectives. Some attempted to smuggle simulated narcotics while some wore fake explosive vest.
“I think the training went smooth,” said Reese. “The Marines were able to identify threats by observing demeanor and how the role-players answered questions.”
This type of simulation is an important part of training. Marines and sailors with BSRF-13 need to be confident when handling these types of situations. If a real crisis arises, the contingency force can effectively evacuate people while keeping them safe.
“The way I look at it is, it’s practice before the game,” said Reese. “If a crisis pops up anywhere in the country these Marines need to be able to jump straight into a tactical mind-set and get people to safety.”
BSRF-13 will be supporting various military engagements while also serving as a crisis contingency force for the Black Sea region. BSRF-13 is slated to conduct military engagement operations with approximately 21 different nations during its six-month deployment. During that time, BSRF will exchange and advise small unit tactics, convoy operations, live fire weapon ranges, non-lethal weapons employment and counter-improvised explosive device training.