Keesler, community prepare for upcoming airshow with an exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenten Walters
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

In preparation for the upcoming air and space show, Keesler personnel worked with local and state agencies to participate in an aircraft collision exercise, March 16.

The scenario simulated a mid-air collision between a F-16 Fighting Falcon and a 403rd Wing C-130J Super Hercules which affects both the City of Biloxi and Keesler.

“In the months leading up to this exercise numerous meetings occurred between base personnel and civilian agencies, establishing lines of effort and communication flow as well as a chain of command," said Lt. Col. John Connors, air[DETAUA8T1]  show director. “Performing this exercise is not only a requirement prior to having an airshow at a military installation but it also fosters coordination between multiple agencies that will be activated in the rare case an incident occurs.”

Keesler Airmen were tested for readiness through crowd control, mass casualty trauma responses and emergency management procedures, taking into account the extra security protocols in place for the surplus of people that would be on base during the Air Show.

Part of Keesler’s response includes working with state and local partners to react to an incident.

“Through this exercise we planned and simulated for five different hospitals to receive mock victims via two different Life Flight companies," said William Mays, 81st Training Wing inspection specialist. “We would have had the Department of Marine Resources rescuing anybody in the water, on the beach there was the Biloxi Fire Department and Police responding to the victims, and then at the Elks Lodge we had the Fire Department and American Medical Readiness responding to that area.”

This exercise aids preparation and ensures readiness for Keesler’s personnel and community for the upcoming air show.

Keesler will host Thunder Over the Sound from April 29-30. More information can be found at Thunder Over the Sound website.