Life at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base returned to normal operations with the conclusion May 3 of the second-quarter, base-wide exercise. Wing Inspection Team members and exercise planners began taking a retrospective look at their areas of evaluation responsibilities.
The week saw emergency personnel and others actively responding to a range of installation-wide, as well as unit-specific, events.
On April 29, it was a time to exercise unit continuity of operations plans for many organizations. These plans, often referred to as COOPs, provide a road map for relocation to and operation from other, pre-determined locations when that organization’s main facility was not usable due to some incapacitating event, such as tornado damage.
The week’s COOP activities ranged from table-top discussions to actual implementation and operation. The COOP exercises provided an opportunity to validate those plans, identify potential shortfalls and begin to formulate corrective measures.
In a potential threat-to-the-base scenario April 30, the installation had several higher force protection measures mandated through the exercise. As personnel responded to these measures and implemented them, their unit Wing Inspection Team representatives monitored the activity and recorded any observations.
While May 1 saw more COOP activity, other units were evaluated on the use of an automated external defibrillator or AED. These potentially life-saving portable electronic devices, when used properly, can automatically diagnose potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and then, through defibrillation, allow the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. AEDs are located in buildings throughout Wright-Patterson.
A Wingman Day barbeque at the Wright-Brothers Hangar on Huffman Prairie Flying Field was the setting for a mass casualty exercise May 2. First responders rushed to the location to treat victims of a suspected simulated hazardous materials release. While fire department personnel treated “victims” at the scene, several other affected individuals, who in the scenario had left the barbeque to seek medical help, self-presented at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center for evaluation and treatment there.
Inclement weather with lightning in the area shortened this portion of the exercise and on May 3 forced the cancelation of further exercise activities.
Wright-Patterson AFB exercises are conducted quarterly and cross a broad spectrum of potential hazards, threats and contingencies which could be experienced here at any time. Not only valuable as a tool to evaluate emergency responses, the exercises provide an opportunity for various base agencies to hone the skills needed to work together to meet and resolve any crisis.
The next base-wide exercise is scheduled for July 29 to Aug. 2.