Bahrain bomb exercise tests collaboration
The largest and most complex training exercise ever held at Naval Support Activity Bahrain wasn’t exactly time intensive.
This week’s “Desert Sailor 07” — a cooperative training exercise with U.S. Navy and Bahraini emergency representatives — simulated an incident in which more than 40 people were killed or wounded, Navy officials said.
The massive undertaking involved more than 800 U.S. servicemembers and Defense Department personnel, and hundreds of personnel from the Bahrain ministries of Interior, Health and Defense.
It also took all of two hours to complete.
“Overall, things went quite well,” base commander Capt. Mark Deardurff said in a statement. “We made sure that this training was valuable for all the participants, and when we bring all that together, everyone benefits.”
The scenario surrounded a car explosion on the U.S. Navy base. The simulated casualties included nearly two dozen people killed, and nearly two dozen wounded.
The drill was planned for more than six months, spokesman Petty Officer 1st Class Bruce Cummins said, and unrelated to the recent tensions in the region, particularly between Iran, the U.S. and Britain.
Its intent was to create a controlled scenario in which U.S. and Bahrain officials could simultaneously and collaboratively test emergency responses.
U.S. commanders have accused Iran of manufacturing and smuggling explosives into Iraq and fueling tensions between Sunnis and Shiites.
Tension with Iran also increased when Iran seizing 15 British sailors and marines in the Persian Gulf in March.
The mass-casualty exercise will be annual training in Bahrain, Cummins said.