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386th ECES Conducts All-Hazard Response Exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman JaNae Capuno
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

A jogger is running his typical route and notices a suspicious truck with an unconscious driver inside.

Curiously, the jogger calls the base defense operation center, relaying his location and explaining what he sees to the dispatcher. As sirens begin to whirl nearby, the jogger opens the cab of the truck to help the driver and immediately starts coughing – the jogger has just inhaled toxic chemicals.

Luckily, this possible real-world scenario was an all-hazard response exercise conducted by the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management team, May 5, 2020.

The exercise was designed to enhance interoperability between multiple first responder teams to respond, identify, and to control potential real-world scenarios.

“Each of the responding agencies here on the installation has different capabilities,” said Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Hughes, 386th ECES installation emergency manager. “When an unknown hazard happens, it’s important to bring all the teams together to build cohesion and get to know the capabilities that each team has.”

The 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron defenders assessed the scene, finding the jogger stumbling outside the vehicle. After the defenders removed the runner out of the hazardous area, the 386th ECES fire team began to decontaminate them so that the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group personnel could check their vitals.

“Upon our arrival, Security Forces informed us the patient had inhaled chemicals,” said Staff Sgt. Katherine Pacino, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group aerospace medical technician. “Before getting close to the patient, I made sure he was decontaminated for everyone’s safety.”

The fire department sprang into action by setting a 500 ft. cordon around the simulated hazard area and removed the mannequin driver from the truck. The 386th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron mortuary affairs officer retrieved the driver’s remains.

“Knowing there was an unknown chemical hazard, the firefighters on the scene called the emergency management team,” Hughes said. “There can be a potential unknown hazard anywhere in the AOR, and they can call us anytime to go there, identify it, and make the scene safe so we can continue to complete the mission.”

At the end of the exercise, the 386th ECES Explosives Ordnance Disposal team sent a robot in to recover the suspicious items within the truck.

“Each job that comes out here for this exercise knows what they do on a day-to-day basis,” Pacino said. “They know their protocols and how to run their shop, and this exercise puts us all together at once. That way, if a real scenario happens, we can all work together as a cohesive team.”

Having the opportunity while deployed and right mindset knowing these events can happen, make it perfect for our Airmen and coalition partners. Giving each rotation a chance to learn and grow helps support the multitude of operations to include battlespaces daily.