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Escape, Barricade, or do we fight?

  • Published
  • By TSgt Rasheen Douglas
  • 379th AEW Public Affairs
Airmen from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing participated in an active shooter training exercise June 19.

“I love when the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group partners with other base agencies to exercise,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kimberly Robinson, 379th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent. “When we have a real mass casualty we'll know other emergency responder's capabilities, therefore, it will be seamless.”

The training exercise involved an active shooting scenario to test the reactions of several agencies on base. There were members from Security Forces, firefighters, and medical response teams.

“It’s essential with the increased threat of ‘lone wolf’ style attacks and workplace violence incidents taking place not only in society, but on military installations that we prepare our Airmen for these possible deadly scenarios,” said Master Sgt. Patricia Hart, 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Check Six non-commissioned officer in charge.

The units of the 379th AEW are tested randomly with active shooter scenarios once a quarter. There are even units that are proactive and contribute their own training to implement in conjunction with the active shooter scenarios to bring more realism for their personnel being evaluated.

When the Airmen from the 379th ESFS Check Six evaluate members during these scenarios they’re looking to see if personnel are following the 3+2+1 concept. Are Airmen taking one of the three choices available to them, escape, barricade, or fight? Do they understand their choice will determine which of the two possible outcomes, live or die, they will end with? Do the members understand they only have one chance to get the decision right?

In addition, members are evaluated on knowing their rally points, how to conduct self-aid buddy care, how to contact the Emergency Control Center as well as what information they convey to first responders when they call 911.

“There are rare moments instead of receiving the typical reaction where Airmen flee the scene when the active shooter is on the scene. We have come across some Airmen who are more comfortable defending themselves,” said Hart. “Interesting items has been used for self-defense such as golf clubs. We’ve even encountered members using a couch against the aggressor.”

The active shooter training might not sit well with many people because the training is being conducted while they’re deployed. This type of training is important because this type of situation is not prejudicial to any location, deployed or not. Just watch the news and you can see that seemingly any safe place can turn deadly.