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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County military installation was on high alert today. It was part of a simulated attack planned at Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal near Southport by civilian contractors.

Though it was just a drill, base officials are not taking it lightly.

“The Port Defender exercise is designed to sharpen our security and readiness skills to ensure that we have the right installation security posture,” Command Sgt. Maj. Felton L. Head said.

More than 200 people took part in the simulation in which an attack takes place on an American military installation, and it turns into a mass casualty situation.

“What we want to do is really take a look at our response team,” Felton said. “We also want to look at our security personnel, and we want to look and see how they handle a situation of attack that is going to be conducted on a large-scale operation.”

“We really max them out,” Larry Ragan with Surface Deployment and Distribution Command said. “We task them out. That’s where they’ve got to reach down deep and discover what they’re doing well. These guys train a lot, and their doing well.”

Though an attack of this scale is unexpected at Sunny Point, troops are told to expect the unexpected.

“Not only do we do this on a week long exercise, we do this day in and day out,” Felton said. “We take everything seriously. We always remain at a certain security posture and we can build upon that at a moments notice.”

To further prepare for a potential attack, area hospitals were flooded with actors with fake injuries, so they can review their own plans of action in the event of a mass casualty event.

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