From Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs
PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) – The commander of Navy Installations Command (CNIC), Vice Adm. Mary M. Jackson, visited Naval Air Station Pensacola today where she praised the actions of those who responded to a deadly active shooter incident that occurred at the base Dec. 6.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m so proud of each and every one of you,” Jackson told Navy Security Force (NSF) personnel. “I can’t put myself in your shoes, and I cannot imagine what you have been through, but I do know for sure -- you responded in such a miraculous manner, you saved people’s lives.”
Three Sailors were killed and eight individuals were injured during the shooting incident last week.
Department of the Navy Police Officers and Navy Master at Arms were the first to respond to the scene and were shortly thereafter joined by officers from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office who assisted with the response to the active shooter. The mutual aid agreements in place are a force multiplier and bring additional response assets to an incident of this nature. Combined and operating as a unified team, they saved lives.
“Our Sailors and Navy Civilians were in this fight from the beginning” Jackson noted later.
“They responded as trained, went above and beyond, and did not shy away from danger.”
Due to the on-going investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), many details of the event cannot be released.
“I am very proud of the incredible professionalism of the Navy Security Forces. We are indebted to each one of you” Jackson said. “Protecting others is in your DNA, and that is why you are heroes.”
Visiting the NSF who put their lives on the line was humbling, Jackson noted, and she assured them the Navy would support them and their families.
NSF personnel are law enforcement and security professionals who are on watch 24/7 at Navy installations globally. They are armed, qualified, and trained to protect Sailors, families and all those who serve.
Installation Navy Security Forces include both civilian and military personnel, who receive training before arriving at the installation. Navy civilian Police Officers complete the Federal Law Enforcement Training Course assignment while Navy enlisted personnel attend the U.S. Navy Master at Arms “A” school. CNIC employs more than 3,600 civilian federal law enforcement officers and has approximately 6,300 Navy Master at Arms security and force protection professionals.
NSF personnel train regularly throughout the year for a variety of emergency situations, and training for an active shooter is embedded in both individual and unit level training. Maintaining the highest levels of proficiency and readiness is a priority for Navy Security Forces who protect our installations and personnel at installations across the country. The NSF also work and train with local law enforcement and emergency services agencies so they have a coordinated response to any scale of security where minutes matter.
While at NAS Pensacola, Jackson also met with members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), FBI and other senior Navy leaders during the visit. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is leading the investigation with support from Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
“Our interests in returning to normal operations on NAS Pensacola do not supersede our desire for a complete and accurate investigation. You have our full support” Jackson indicated to the FBI. She thanked the multiagency investigative team for their thorough work.
In discussions with Rear Adm. Gary Mayes Commander, Navy Region Southeast, and NAS Commanding Officer, Capt. Tim Kinsella, Jackson reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring Navy regional commanders and installation commanding officers have what they need to take care of the fleet, the fighters and their families.
Individuals impacted can go to the Military Family Support Center. An Emergency Family Assistance Center has been established at the Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC). FFSC has counselors to support witnesses, friends, family and base residents. They can be contacted at (850) 452-5990.
Counseling services are also being provided through the Chaplains office and the Navy Civilian Employee Assistance Program. A Navy special psychiatric rapid intervention team (SPRINT) is also in Pensacola to provide short-term mental health support to commands.
The NAS Pensacola shooting is an active, ongoing investigation. If anyone thinks that they have information, please call: 1-800-CALL-FBI.