Exercise on McChord puts crisis readiness to the test

By Staff Sgt. Daniel Liddicoet, 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs on December 15, 2016

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - The 446th Security Forces Squadron collaborated to plan and execute a comprehensive active shooter exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Sunday.

The exercise was intended to both ensure the readiness of first responders directly involved and to heighten safety and awareness around the wing.

The exercise called upon participation and resources from several key squadrons, such as the 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron that provided medics to respond to simulated injuries received during the active shooter scenario.

The exercise was primarily planned by 446th Airlift Wing Inspector General Inspections in conjunction with the 446th SFS. Together, planners sought to achieve several key training objectives.

Among the most vital purposes of the exercise was to validate the efficacy of the shoot-move-communicate training to include the use of reasonable force. During the exercise, quick response forces reacted and had to make split-second decisions about the level of force that was necessary to engage.

Keeping in line with valued partnerships, many of the actors used during the exercise were young recruits of the 446th Development and Training Flight, providing them with an opportunity to see firsthand how citizen airmen train and fight.

"Never underestimate the value of this kind of training," said Master Sgt. Anthony Ebio, 446th AW IGI planner. "It was great to see that our airmen applied this training without the need for guidance. Anything that can prepare you for real-world situations is so valuable."

Another important objective of the exercise was to validate medical first response within a mass casualty situation. The 446th ASTS arrived during the scenario to provide triage and use their skills to assess what kinds of care was most appropriate for each victim.

The exercise also provided an opportunity to partner with the 446th AW public affairs shop to train their understanding of the combatant command release authority of deployed forces.

The public affairs team trained on crisis communication and practical real-world questions enabling them to determine how best to respond during an active shooter scenario.

"Forty minutes of real exercise training like this is worth 40 hours in a classroom," said Senior MSgt. Joel Eyster, 433rd Airlift Wing IG, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. "There's so much you don't get in the classroom setting that you can learn so quickly out here from firsthand experience."