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Airmen train and prepare during Major accident Response Exercise

U.S Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., respond to a fire during an emergency response exercise April 10, 2018.

U.S Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., respond to a fire during an emergency response exercise April 10, 2018. These Airmen responded to and extinguished three separate fires to train on how they would respond in a real world scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

U.S Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla, spray three separate fires simultaneously during an emergency response exercise April 10, 2018.

U.S Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla, spray three separate fires simultaneously during an emergency response exercise April 10, 2018. This exercise focused on the ability to respond to aircraft mishaps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

A U.S Air Force Airman assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla, sprays what’s left of a spot fire during an emergency response exercise April 10, 2018.

A U.S Air Force Airman assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla, sprays what’s left of a spot fire during an emergency response exercise April 10, 2018. After the trucks responded and extinguished the fires, Airmen continued to spray the fires on the ground to ensure the fire could not spread. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Airmen from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, participated in a Major Accident Response Exercise April 10, 2018, to train and prepare in the event of an aircraft crash.

The exercise started with Airmen from the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron responding to a call about an accident on the flightline. Within one minute of receiving the call, fire protection Airmen arrived on scene and began putting out the controlled fires.

The Airmen gained control of the scene and continued with a table-top discussion on what steps would be taken to maintain the safety of base personnel.

“The table-top portion of the exercise included discussions about what part different organizations would play during a real world scenario,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Resler, a wing inspection planner assigned to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron. “Some of those different organizations and their parts include bioenvironmental taking samples around the crash site, the Crash Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CDDAR) team treating the site to mitigate composite threats, and the search and recovery team recovering any remains.”

The CDDAR team’s primary job is to ensure the scene is safe and document the scene while looking for aircraft pieces and other miscellaneous items.

As soon as the CDDAR team has finished the search and recovery team comes in to mark and recover remains.

“Our job would be to respond to an aircraft mishap or mass fatality incident occurring on and off base,” said Master Sgt. David Bushnell, 6th Force Support Squadron services sustainment superintendent. “We have a properly trained, manned and equipped search and recovery team at all times.”  

The table-top exercise also had Airmen working in the Crisis Action Team and the Emergency Operations Center.

“The EOC and CAT are vital in ensuring the installation’s mission continues before, during and after an incident at the strategic level,” said Resler. “Their main objectives during this exercise were to review and discuss all applicable checklists related to an aircraft mishap.”

Through combined efforts MacDill maintains the ability to respond to a major accident with precision and professionalism if called to do so.  

“It’s important for us to be prepared to respond to any real world scenario,” said Resler. “It is better for us to be prepared and not need to execute, than need to execute and not be prepared.”