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Dahlgren workers, area residents brace for snarled traffic next week during Navy security exercise
That day, venues such as the base theater, library, post exchange and commissary will be closed. Day care services will be the exception, and will remain open for essential employees who do have to work, Hayes said.
"Due to the lack of services during the exercise, military retirees, nonresident dependents and others who would normally have base access should not plan on visiting the installations during this week," Hayes said. In addition, the Dahlgren and Indian Head bases will not be issuing visitor passes that day.
The security exercise has been going on for at least a decade at Dahlgren. The purpose is to train base security to deal with various scenarios--for example, a terrorist attack or an explosion.
In past years, some employees and Dahlgren-area residents have complained about the traffic disruptions. There are long backups at the main gate, and it is inconvenient for anyone trying to get to Potomac Elementary School, which sits about half a mile outside the main gate.
Hayes said the Virginia Department of Transportation will help get the word out next week.
Kelly Hannon, spokeswoman for VDOT's Fredericksburg District, said a traffic camera from Interstate 95 at Ladysmith will be temporarily moved to a spot on U.S. 301, south of State Route 206, to monitor traffic flow.
"We'll also have some message boards saying this exercise is going on, and that [motorists] need to be aware of congestion," she said.
"If you're traveling from New Jersey, you might not know about it, so we wanted to work in conjunction with the Navy to see what we can do," Hannon said. Drivers can check on traffic conditions online, at 511virginia .org, and by dialing 511.
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield will be conducted Monday through Friday in the Navy's National Capital Region.
The annual exercise is designed to enhance training and readiness of Navy security forces to respond to threats to installations and units.