Anti-terrorism training at Naval Base San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Anti-terrorism training at Naval Base San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – The Navy is conducting an annual five-day training exercise.

The anti-terrorism exercises are designed to identify gaps in our protection at home and overseas. They're designed to assess the Navy's capability to protect ships from various threats.

"We're hoping that showing the capabilities of what we have, we can actually get these out there in the fleet right now," Chief Petty Officer Christopher Morge said.

In one exercise, two small boats headed towards the USS Rushmore. The first one was intercepted by a Navy vessel, but the other was the focus of new technology called the Holtz System. It's a laser, spotlight, and speaker all in one. So if a boat is coming toward them, they can get its attention with a light or loud noise, then warn them not to come any closer. If the boat doesn't stop, that's when they open fire.

The scenario was reminiscent of the USS Cole incident, where the ship was attacked by suicide bombers in a small boat in the port of Aden.

"If we had the ability to warn, to talk and had numerous non-lethal weapons to try and deter them, we would have known right then and there they were hostile, and we could take lethal action," Morge said.

Thursday's drill was done with blank rounds, but to activate the explosions, sailors actually had to hit their targets with lasers.

It's important training in a time when the U.S. needs to be ready for anything.

"I think for the junior sailors and operators it was pretty exciting," GM1 Jennifer Dixon said.

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