JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
An active shooter training exercise at the Air Force Personnel Center tested the response from units base-wide July 12-13 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.
The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate the ability of personnel in the facility under attack to protect themselves and the ability of all organizations on JBSA-Randolph to implement a lockdown.
The exercise was also designed to evaluate the response capabilities of security forces, fire emergency services, medical and the Office of Special Investigations,
public affairs, force support and the Chaplains Corps in providing support to the incident commander, victims and their families.
“These exercises allow our first responders as well as command and control elements to test their skills, training and any technology they utilize in this type of response,” said Edward C. Doss, 502nd Air Base Wing Inspector General installation exercise program director.
Planning for the exercise began six months ago when the Inspector General’s offices from the 502nd Air Base Wing and the Air Force Personnel Center began determining a scenario and location for the exercise. A Wing Inspection Team was then created to review objectives and develop a series of events to test these objectives, Doss said.
Master Sgt. Leif Gisselberg, 902nd Security Forces Squadron standardization and evaluations superintendent and Wing Inspection Team member, said communication is the vital cog to any major response.
“For security forces, it is another repetition of muscle movements, helping these critical skills to become automatic during a tense, high-stress event,” said Gisselberg. “Rapid, effective response to an active shooter by those personnel in the immediate vicinity provides the greatest chances for minimal loss of innocent life. It also helps the public become familiar with law enforcement procedures, which can remove some confusion from a chaotic scene.”
Gisselberg said the real-world active shooter incident at JBSA-Lackland in April, which resulted in the death of Lt. Col. William “Bill” Schroeder,
commander of the 342nd Training Squadron, “absolutely” affected the preparation for security forces in this active shooter exercise.
“As a career field we are always sharing After Action Reports and knowledge with each other to refine operations,” said Gisselberg. “Being in the San Antonio area, we are fortunate to have so many law enforcement agencies surrounding us willing to assist should the need arise. One area we will be looking at is how we can seamlessly integrate the support of other agencies.”
Following the exercise, a review from members of the Wing Inspection Team will be given to each organization involved in the exercise to provide feedback on any issues.
“If these issues are significant, the organization will develop a corrective action plan – approved by their commander or civilian leader – and be tracked until the process or procedure is implemented,” said Doss. “We then test these processes and procedures in future exercises to ensure that they work.”
For more information on active shooter facts and how to prepare, visit http://www.beready.af.mil/disasters&emergencies/activeshooter.asp.