JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Units from Joint Base Langley-Eustis participated in an aircraft crash exercise here July 17.
The aim of the exercise was to evaluate JBLE’s ability to manage the aftermath of a helicopter mishap. Emergency responders faced a simulated crash in which a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook, experiencing electrical and mechanical failures, was unable to reach the airfield and crashed into a boat near the installation’s 3rd Port.
First responders put out the fiery crash, attended to 11 people role playing dead and injured personnel, and contained any hazardous materials or oils that may have spilled during the crash.
“This type of exercise allows the wing inspection team to evaluate the plans, processes and training each unit has conducted. Additionally, it can bring to light a unit’s resource limitations,” said Randy Renaud, 633rd Air Base Wing Inspector General’s inspections exercise program manager. “Personnel in every functional area conduct training in their own unit - the WIT and the IG’s inspections section are the eyes and ears of the commander. This is valuable information that is given to commanders at all levels to adjust training, provide additional resources where there is a need or develop a team to revise plans and processes.”
While emergency personnel responded to the crash, members from various support agencies gathered at the emergency operations center to provide assistance to those on scene and supply leadership with information to make decisions appropriate to the scenario.
“At the EOC we work on notification, assessing the situation and compiling information,” said James Ferguson, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management training technician. “While our emergency forces are responding to the scene, we’re listening and taking in all that information, so that when our (733rd Mission Support Group) commander arrives at the EOC, we can provide her an initial report on what is happening on the site, and what resources and assistance the incident commander on the ground may need. The MSG commander will utilize the information that we are gathering to make critical decisions.”
Responders were evaluated while they executed procedures from the Joint Base Emergency Management Plan; Felker Army Air Field Pre-Accident Plan; JBLE Mishap Response Plan; Fort Eustis Spill Prevention and Response Plan for Oil and Hazardous Substances; and each agency’s standard operating procedures, checklists and key objectives.