Aircraft accident exercise test emergency response

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Deanna Muir
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 23rd Wing conducted an aircraft accident response exercise at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, March 26, 2024.

This home-station exercise simulated a hard landing of an HH-60W Jolly Green II with injured aircrew members and tested Moody AFB Airmen’s communication and response capabilities in an emergency.

“The purpose of exercises like these is to test the wing’s first response and follow-on response functions,” said Master Sgt. Branden Stanley, 23rd Wing Inspector General inspection manager. “This ensures Team Moody Airmen have confidence in their ability to respond quickly and efficiently in the event of a real-world scenario.”

Subject matter experts from various career fields provided desired learning objectives to the 23rd Wing Inspector General office. The IG then built the exercise around these objectives to test each agency's ability to integrate.

An aircraft incident require immediate coordinated action from first responders, safety personnel, maintenance teams, and security forces.

 Given the multitude of agencies involved, effective and transparent communication is critical during recovery operations where swift action is paramount to safeguarding lives and resources.

“During any incident response, communication is key,” said Jeremy Valler, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department station chief. “We have to make sure that we are accurate and we're giving the best information we can to those who make those big decisions.”

Ensuring Airmen are ready for any scenario is vital. The Wing Inspection Team assesses operations throughout the exercise, pinpointing areas for improvement and facilitating the necessary repetitions to refine future response capabilities.

“Incidents like these aren’t very common; however, they can happen,” Valler said. “Having exercises that give us scenarios we aren’t used to doing gives us valuable experience on how to mitigate them.”

Aircraft accident exercises are an annual requirement. They serve as vital opportunities to hone tactics and procedures while fostering collaboration with other agencies around the installation for a streamlined and rapid response.

“We hope the Airmen take away the need to be prepared for all these types of scenarios and build upon the understanding that small-scale incidents can rapidly balloon into larger incidents,” Valler said.

While this exercise tested home-station response, the knowledge gained from agency integration will prepare Airmen for future operations in austere locations that lack resources.