JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
Security forces officials confirmed that Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph will undergo an active shooter exercise on Sept. 17 and 18. JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Lackland will not be participating on those dates.
The exercise will help gauge the base's first responders' reaction time and practice of protocol in the event of a real active shooter scenario, where an armed person or group uses deadly physical force on other people with access to other potential victims.
By nature of active shooter incidents, continuous implementation of the exercise is vital for discovering aspects that need to be improved upon for future exercises.
"We've made improvements over the years that we've exercised and our process has improved, but there's opportunity for improvement no matter how many times we exercise," Henry King, 502nd Air Base Wing exercises and inspections chief, said.
The trifold is a guide on how to respond to a shooting incident, whether an individual is alerted through a base notification or if they directly witness an incident. The trifold also displays particular information like location of the shooter(s) and the type of weapons involved to help callers focus on what information they should gather for security forces.
If base members are notified of an active shooter incident, they should stay put and cooperate with response forces for further action. All personnel should be accounted for as well.
Those in risk of danger by hearing a shooting should secure themselves and their location.
"Once secured, position yourself in a place clear of direct fire," the trifold states. "You should be able to observe the 'way in' and 'way out' routes."
While in lockdown, all lights should be turned off to make a location appear unoccupied.
"If a phone is within your secure location, dial your local emergency number and provide as much information as possible," the trifold states. "Until the authorities instruct you to move or you have been released, do not move."
In case members find themselves in immediate, visible danger, they are urged to escape from the scene, hide or, as a last resort, take action.
"During escape, plan your route, leave your stuff behind and exit with your hands visible," the trifold directs. "If you hide, contact security forces as soon as possible. If you find yourself in imminent danger, take action. Attempt to incapacitate or act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter."
As news continues to break of gun-related violence around the country, people are still panicked by active shooter incidents. "It is important that they take any precautions necessary to prepare for the unexpected", Bob Vickers, 902nd Security Forces Squadron chief of plans and programs, said.
"The steps listed on the trifold were adopted from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation," he said. "The steps are proven methods to decrease the potential of becoming a victim of an active shooter event.
"Security forces are not capable of being everywhere all of the time, and individuals gain the greatest chance of surviving such a horrific event if they understand what protective measures are available to them before such an event takes place."
For emergencies, dial 911. To contact JBSA security forces, call 652-5700 for Randolph; 221-2222 for Fort Sam Houston/Camp Bullis; and 671-2018 for Lackland.