HomeUnits379th Air Expeditionary WingNewsDisplay

Exercise Atlas Mountain brings together three coalition partners, puts flight line safety to the test

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Qatar Emiri Air Force take part in responding too, and evaluating the response too, a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Qatar Emiri Air Force take part in responding too, and evaluating the response too, a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members were taking part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, revolving around the simulated landing gear failure on a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules. The exercise was designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

A U.S. Air Force firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, notes the condition of a Royal Air Force member on his mass casualty incident tag during an accident response exercise on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

A U.S. Air Force firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, notes the condition of a Royal Air Force member on his mass casualty incident tag during an accident response exercise on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members were taking part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, revolving around the simulated landing gear failure on a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules. The exercise was designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Qatar Emiri Air Force take part in responding too, and evaluating the response too, a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Qatar Emiri Air Force take part in responding too, and evaluating the response too, a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members were taking part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, revolving around the simulated landing gear failure on a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules. The exercise was designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Qatar Emiri Air Force take part in responding too, and evaluating the response too, a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

Members of the U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Qatar Emiri Air Force take part in responding too, and evaluating the response too, a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members were taking part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, revolving around the simulated landing gear failure on a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules. The exercise was designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

U.S. Air Force firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, tan uniforms, work alongside a firefighter from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, black uniform, to assist Royal Air Force members, simulating casualties, at a staging location at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

U.S. Air Force firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, tan uniforms, work alongside a firefighter from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, black uniform, to assist Royal Air Force members, simulating casualties, at a staging location at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members were taking part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, involving a simulated accident with a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules, designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

U.S. Air Force firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron assist a Royal Air Force member, simulating a casualty, from a C-130J Hercules at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

U.S. Air Force firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron assist a Royal Air Force member, simulating a casualty, from a C-130J Hercules at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The C-130J Hercules had a simulated landing gear failure resulting in simulated on-board casualties and was part of a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

A U.S. Air Force firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron assists a Royal Air Force simulated casualty to a staging location while firefighters from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, black uniforms, battle a simulated fire at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

A U.S. Air Force firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron assists a Royal Air Force simulated casualty to a staging location while firefighters from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, black uniforms, battle a simulated fire at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The simulated aircraft accident involving a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules was part of a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

A U.S. Air Force firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, work on putting away hoses following their response to a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

A U.S. Air Force firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, work on putting away hoses following their response to a simulated aircraft accident on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members took part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, revolving around the simulated landing gear failure on a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules. The exercise was designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

U.S. and Qatar Emiri Air Force firefighters respond to an exercise involving the simulated landing gear failure resulting in simulated casualties aboard a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.

U.S. and Qatar Emiri Air Force firefighters respond to an exercise involving the simulated landing gear failure resulting in simulated casualties aboard a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules was the focal point of a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Elliott, firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, right, attends to two simulated casualties played by Royal Air Force airmen, on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 13

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman William Elliott, firefighter assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, right, attends to two simulated casualties played by Royal Air Force airmen, on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The military members were taking part in a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise, revolving around the simulated landing gear failure on a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules. The exercise was designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and coalition forces post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

An Airman assigned to the U.S. Air Force 379th Air Expeditionary Wing marshals a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules to its parking location on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 13

An Airman assigned to the U.S. Air Force 379th Air Expeditionary Wing marshals a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules to its parking location on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The C-130J Hercules had a simulated landing gear failure resulting in simulated on-board casualties and was part of a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

U.S. Air Force firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron work alongside firefighters from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, black uniforms, to assist Royal Air Force members, simulating casualties, resulting from the simulated landing gear failure on a C-130J Hercules at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 13

U.S. Air Force firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron work alongside firefighters from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, black uniforms, to assist Royal Air Force members, simulating casualties, resulting from the simulated landing gear failure on a C-130J Hercules at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. The simulated aircraft accident was part of a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Williams, command chief assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, visits with a member of the Qatar Emiri Air Force as a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules is off-loaded on the runway at Al Udeid, Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 13

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Williams, command chief assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, visits with a member of the Qatar Emiri Air Force as a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules is off-loaded on the runway at Al Udeid, Air Base, Qatar, Oct. 3, 2017. Chief Williams was on the runway to observe a joint U.S., UK and Qatari exercise designed to test the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s post-crash emergency management plan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar— After months of planning, the U.S. Air Force joined with its coalition partners from the United Kingdom and Qatar to take part in an exercise on the runway at Al Udeid Air Base. The exercise, originally proposed by the UK in order to satisfy internal safety requirements, was designed to test the effectiveness of an emergency response to an aircraft accident on the runway.  By the time the exercise took place on Oct. 3, it involved around 120 to 150 service members from three coalition forces. 

 

“The relationships that we build on through this exercise are really important just for our day to day work,” said UK Squadron Leader Cal Lowie, commanding officer assigned to the 901 Expeditionary Air Wing. “The conversations that we had with the operations group, with the air traffic control, and with the security forces have allowed us to improve our procedures and our knowledge.”

 

Within five minutes of beginning the exercise, firefighters from the U.S. Air Force and the Qatar Emiri Air Force were putting water on simulated flames at the crash scene. The crash and recovery team was on scene moments after the firefighters to begin assessing the situation. The four simulated casualties aboard the Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules, played by British Airmen, were removed from the aircraft and triaged by U.S. and Qatari firefighters within the first 15 minutes.

 

“Being out there on the scene, it was seamless the way our fire department and the Qatari fire department worked together,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Cory Terceira, wing self-assessment program manager assigned to the 379th Inspector General’s Office. “It was a good opportunity to show off our joint capabilities and to give them the training to respond.”

 

The planning and execution of the exercise provided an opportunity for coalition members to evaluate the effectiveness of communications, coordination and general cooperation in a relatively tense, simulated real life situation.

 

“I think one of the difficulties in post-crash management is being able to coordinate with all of the forces,” said Lowie.

 

Although this was the first joint exercise of its size between the U.S. and the UK, it wasn’t the first exercise where the coalition forces have worked together here at Al Udeid.

 

“We did a little prep work in a sense, because we knew this exercise was coming. We invited them [the UK forces] to participate in the active shooter exercise,” said Maj. Leo Burkardt, exercise planner assigned to the 379th Inspector General’s Office, referring to an active shooter exercise held on the base in late August.

 

“We already work really closely together and it’s really encouraging how easy it is for the UK forces to integrate with the U.S. forces,” said Lowie. “There has been some fantastic learning to come out of this exercise.”

 

“I can only foresee the relationship and exercise partnership continuing to grow,” said Burkardt.