Exercising safety through partnership

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Keesler Air Force Base and the City of Biloxi teamed up and held a joint air show crash exercise, Blue Dragon, held April 17-18 on the base and at the Elks Lodge in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The exercise involved a mock plane crash that left wreckage to two locations, on and off base. After the two simulated planes collided, each location represented a plane crash that left a scene of various people decorated with moulage.

“Exercises like this allow the opportunity for Keesler AFB and Biloxi to work jointly and ensure all levels of responders can communicate to save lives, people and equipment,” said Bill Mays, 81st Training Wing Management Internal Control Toolset manager.

The Mutual Aid Agreement, a partnership between Keesler AFB and the City of Biloxi, is critical when it comes to saving lives.

“Constant interaction between departments and officers ensure each department knows standard operating procedures and remains familiar with officers in charge,” said James Donnett, 81st Infrastructure Division fire chief. “This cooperation makes for almost seamless integration of both department’s resources in emergency scenes on and off base.”

Exercises are a vital part of testing emergency response forces by providing insight on the reactions of emergency personnel and demonstrate what can be improved upon.

“Having two major accident scenes drives a worst case scenario for all response and support forces involved and puts serious strain due to having to share manpower and resources,” said Donnett. “If we train for worst case scenarios, which we hope never occur, we will be better prepared to immediately respond and mitigate if a serious event occurs.”

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