Multi-agency exercise tests emergency response

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
  • 173rd Fighter Wing
KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore.-- One of our many responsibilities as Airmen is to train for the "what-if." We spend hours prepping and planning for any number of disasters or incidents that could possibly take place on our base. June 1, members of the 173rd Fighter Wing practiced one of those "what-ifs" in a Major Accident Response Exercise.

Members of the Exercise Evaluation Team in partnership with local law enforcement, the airport, Klamath County Emergency Management, and Klamath County Fire District #1 set up a mock scenario for the 173rd FW to respond to that took approximately six-months to plan.

"We were excited to have many different agencies participate including our community partners, the Red Cross, and the 304th Rescue Squadron" said Capt. Nikki Jackson, EET acting chief.

The premise was an aircraft crash during a large SENTRY EAGLE style open house with multiple civilian casualties. Volunteers from the local community came out to assist with the exercise and play the role of the wounded. They were painted with moulage to replicate mock injuries adding to the realism of the event.

Activity was a buzz across the base as the 173rd responded to the wounded and secured the scene. Unit Control Centers were stood up and accountability for all personnel was taken as both the Crisis Action Team and the Emergency Operations Center members quickly assessed the situation and responded accordingly.

Multiple side scenarios were set-up, designed to assess all areas of the Wing. Interagency cooperation and communication was tested as members of the Wing worked with local law enforcement and the Oregon Disaster Medical Team. Security Forces and Public Affairs were forced to examine how they would deal with medi a on base during an event such as this.

"These exercises allow us to fine tune our response and recovery abilities, ensuring that when an actual event occurs we are able to perform our duties at very high level." said Senior Master Sgt. Kennth Aubut, EOC Manager.

Every player involved in the exercise was given a chance to answer that "what-if" and in turn, evaluate how they would respond to a real-life event.

"While it is the job of the EET to grade and score the unit on their response the true measure of success is in the lessons learned by each individual and shop," said Jackson.