An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

380AEW Article

Joint exercise builds stronger emergency response teams

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Erica Rodriguez
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Members from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing participated in a joint foreign nation exercise here, May 2. The exercise simulated a midair collision between two foreign nation aircraft to which 380th AEW emergency response personnel is called to support.

“The point of the exercise was going through how do we communicate as US forces with our host nation forces along with our coalition, during a time of a major mishap,” Lt. Col. Danny Avila, 380th Safety Chief. “During the scenario, we had one of three aircraft crash simulated off the instillation and it required our medical and fire team to responded off prepared services. They had to go out into the sand in their vehicles to secure a simulated crash site.”

First to the scene was the Emergency Ordnance Disposal team who clears the area so that the other emergency response groups may safely enter the crash site.

“Our role is to support the foreign nation EOD guys, to basically ‘safe the bird’ if they need any assistance,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Parish, 380th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight. “In this case, we come out to the crash site and look if there are any ordnance on the aircraft, make sure that everyone’s evacuated out, and check the condition of any ordnance. Some hazards we are looking for may be flare guns or any ordinance on the aircraft such as bombs or missiles.”

A team from the 380th AEW Fire Emergency Services quickly jumped to action to put out the simulated burning aircraft and assisted the medical team in aiding the involved injured pilots.

“Generally, in a situation like this, the fire team would come out. The Fire Chief would be the on-scene incident commander and they would make sure the site is safe for us medical personnel to go in,” said Lt. Col. Michael Coghlan, 380th Medical Group flight doctor.  “We do triage. We want to help as many as possible, as quickly as possible; anyone we can’t treat on the scene we will quickly get to a place where they can provide a higher level of care.”

The foreign nation acted as the lead for this exercise, generated the script and tested their own systems; while the 380th teams provided support.

“Overall, the exercise was a great opportunity to highlight how well we can work as a team during an emergency,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandy Verette, 380th MDG technician. “The exercise did outline our weak areas as well, which I know we will work on strengthening with our joint coalition counterparts.”

Working in the joint environment enforced building positive relationships between nations, while also highlighting ways to help each other if an emergency occurs.

“My team and I were able to see the similarities along with the differences in our approaches to an emergency medical response,” said Verette. “Being able to work hand-in-hand, learning, while fostering relationships on that level is something that has added value to the way that we train for these types of situations. I am hoping that in the future, we will continue to collaborate on these types of efforts to strengthen our relationships with our joint coalition forces for emergency medical procedures.”