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Evacuation exercise tests 502nd LRS’ preparedness for bomb threats

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Oct. 6, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —

National Preparedness Month in September took on special significance for 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron members throughout Joint Base San Antonio.

            Squadron members in 22 LRS facilities displayed their readiness by participating in a three-day bomb threat evacuation exercise Sept. 26-28.

            “The primary purpose of this internal LRS exercise was to practice building evacuation and remind all employees of their primary and alternate rally points,” said Billy Thomas, 502nd LRS emergency representative.

            The exercise involved 502nd LRS members Sept. 26 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Sept. 27 at JBSA-Lackland and Sept. 28 at JBSA-Randolph.

            During the exercise, Thomas called in a bomb threat to each building, where a squadron member, usually the facility manager, answered the call and asked questions of the perpetrator, using the yellow bomb threat card, Air Force Form 440, that is required near each telephone.

            The bomb threat card lists nine questions that attempt to determine details such as where the bomb is, when it will explode and who the perpetrator is.

After asking the questions, the squadron member sounded the building evacuation alarm.

            “At that point, everyone stops what they are doing and calmly proceeds to their primary rally point,” Thomas said. “The senior person present then ensures accountability is accomplished and calls the LRS unit control center to report 100 percent accountability.”

            Also during the exercise, Susan Shelton, 502nd LRS readiness chief, listened to calls, ensuring squadron members used the bomb threat card to interrogate the perpetrator.

            The exercise ended with 100 percent accountability and no issues to report, Thomas said.

            “The exercise went great,” he said. “Everybody knew their rally point – where they’re supposed to go when there’s an evacuation.”

            Periodic evacuation exercises play a vital security and preparedness role, Thomas said.

            “It’s important to refresh everybody’s memory about where to go when there’s an evacuation,” he said. “The squadron did a good job in executing this evacuation.”

            The 502nd LRS, the largest logistics squadron in the Air Force with more than 800 service members and civilians, also conducts periodic active shooter, shelter-in-place and fire drill exercises that test the preparedness of its members.