People in Groton warned about the sound of automatic weapons drill

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH)– If you live in the Groton area, you may hear some gunfire next week, but it’s just a drill. During the week of May 1-5, Naval Security Force drills along the waterfront of the Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) will include live automatic weapons fire using blanks.

The drills will involve sub base security boats, and simulated aggressor boats, and could also involve submarines and waterfront facilities. The drills are part of machine gun training at the base.

“The blank fire adds a very realistic element, and like the past few years, greatly improves the simulated attack scenarios conducted on the waterfront,” said Dave Cruz, SUBASE Training Officer.

Cruz emphasizes that the base is only conducting the drills with the live firing during the work day; “so if our neighbors or base personnel hear gunfire or something of concern before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m., they should report it immediately so the proper authorities can investigate.”

Base officials say there has been a lot of training leading up to the drills. “We’re also involving a large team of training and safety observers,” said Cruz. “The strictest safety parameters will be adhered to.”

While various communication tools will be used to keep SUBASE personnel informed about the training, Cruz is enlisting local officials and the media to help make the community “situationally aware.”

“The last thing we want to do is cause alarm or undue concern in the community,” said Cruz. “We hope our neighbors understand that while a little noisy, the automatic weapons firing with blanks is a big help. It allows our security forces to really get the most out of this training.”

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