Keesler conducts 2023 hurricane exercise

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

To prepare for the 2023 Hurricane Season, Keesler conducted its annual hurricane exercise, June 5-9.

The entire installation participated in a week-long exercise simulating a Category 4 hurricane headed for Keesler. The exercise simulated a storm hitting the base with 20 to 24 feet of storm surge, flooding nearly every building and leaving extensive water damage.

Creating complex emergency scenarios such as this provides an opportunity for Keesler personnel to test their readiness, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

“During this exercise we observed new processes all shelters will be employing to see where essential personnel teams would ride out the storm when it strikes the coast,” said William Mays, 81st Training Wing inspection team manager.

This exercise also tested the base’s ability to use C2IMERA, Command and Control Incident Management Emergency Response Application, ensuring that all emergency operation groups can communicate effectively with one another. Clear lines of communication are also especially important during evacuation and sheltering procedures.

During the evacuation portion of the exercise, members from the 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron drove through the evacuation route to the nearby Camp Shelby to refamiliarize themselves with the procedures they would follow in the event of a real-world emergency evacuation.

“We have exercises like this to ensure personnel read what our plans instruct and ensure technology hasn't changed and made previous procedures obsolete,” said Mays. “Additionally, sometimes when people say they can do something, they find out they cannot complete whatever it is as expected.  Exercises help ensure muscle movements can occur as planned.”