Kings Bay to Be Site of Nuclear Accident Exercise; Expect Inspection Delays at Base Gates during Weeklong Drill That Starts Monday, Commander Says

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Byline: GORDON JACKSON

ST. MARYS -- A weeklong drill is scheduled beginning Monday at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base to monitor the response to a simulated nuclear weapons accident.

The exercise, conducted by area, state and federal officials, may also test the patience of those trying to get on base and those driving in the area during the drill, which will bring an estimated 1,800 people to Camden County.

"Expect delays, with 100 percent vehicle inspections," said Capt. Mike McKinnon, commander of Kings Bay. "Everyone should expect delays at all gates."

Capt. Doug White, commanding officer of the base's Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic, said the drill, called Dingo King 2005, will assess how emergency and base officials respond to the unspecified mock accident.

"Dingo King will increase our readiness and improve coordination between other agencies," White said. "This exercise does not include nuclear weapons, radiation or indicate a risk to the base. These are not in response to any accident or threat."

Jeff Danshaw, director of the emergency management division for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency based in Alexandria, Va., said the drill will involve federal agencies from across the country, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the Secretary of Defense's Office, as well as the Navy and Air Force.

Danshaw's agency identifies potential threats to the United States and its allies, and tries to develop responses.

"We try to make this as real as possible," he said. …

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