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(NECN: Lauren Collins, Kittery, Maine) - Monday featured business as usual, except with heavy hearts, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, home to nearly 4,000 civilian employees and just under 100 enlisted naval officers.
Security at the Kittery, Maine installation is, like at all other NAV SEA operations, tight.
"Especially since 9/11, the whole profile of security had changed at all government facilities, much less the shipyard here," said John Perry, who worked at Portsmouth and now lives by the gate. "They're watched closely."
He says there's nothing out of the ordinary at the base, from his vantage point, Monday.
A statement from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard reads, “We do not discuss specifics of our security measures at the installation. Our threat condition has not changed. We continually review and adjust security measures as appropriate. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard continues to monitor the situation as it unfolds. Our thoughts and prayers are with those employees and their families affected by this event.”
Shipyard employees were not authorized to speak with NECN, but said off-camera that they're concerned for their colleagues in Washington and hope for the best.
Perry, who also worked at the now-defunct Quincy Naval Shipyard and Electric Boat as a nuclear engineer, says the Washington shooting reminds him too much of the one at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009.
"You do what you can to minimize the threat, but there's no safeguard," he said. "You know, there's no safeguard for what somebody's carrying in their head."