Foggy Shores tests Vandenberg's emergency response
By Airman 1st Class Erica Stewart, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 18, 2007
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg agencies participated in a two-day Foggy Shores exercise, a series of fabricated events on May 14-15, testing readiness and ensuring continued success during natural disasters and incident for the 30th Space Wing.
The exercise kicked off on May 14 with an earthquake scenario that tested base readiness during a natural disaster.
"This event posed the most challenge for the base because so many things could happen," said Sam Treat, chief of Vandenberg's Exercise Evaluation Team.
One of the base agencies that felt the brunt of this specific scenario was the Vandenberg Fire Department.
"The fire department loves these types of exercises because they're challenging, fast paced and on-going, which shows us our strengths and weaknesses," said Mark Farias, Vandenberg fire chief.
An earthquake spawns multiple emergency incidents, ranging from mass casualties to structure fires, to vehicle accidents, to hazardous material incidents. All of these incidents have to be prioritized and juggled by the fire department first responders, Chief Farias said.
On the following day, Vandenberg was again tested, this time with a shooting scenario near the school house on base.
"With recent events, it's good to practice how we'd handle a shooting" said Master Sgt. William Flester, 30th Security Forces Squadron flight chief. "And we performed outstandingly!"
Coupled with the mass shooting scenario was a bomb scenario that put to the test the Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron.
"The biggest challenge for us was calling everyone's attention to this separate incident as the shooting scenario was still being played out, as well and trying to identify exactly what we had," said Staff. Sgt. Lindsay Brenden, Explosive Ordnance Disposal team chief. "We benefited from this training scenario because we had to identify an enclosed item as were able to test the HD-1 robot, a robot used to safely examine possible explosives."
In order for these separate agencies to deliver outstanding results along with the 30th Space Wing, it has to be driven by outstanding leadership.
Mr. Treat said he was particularly impressed by the dual leadership of Lt. Col. Arthur Rozier, Emergency Operations Center commander, and Lt. Col. James Bell, Emergency Operations Center vice commander, in the EOC.
"I'll have to say Colonel Rozier and Colonel Bell ran the Emergency Operation Center without skipping a beat," he said. "These two coupled with their team of hard chargers could handle most anything thrown their way! I was nothing less then impressed"
With a two-day series of critical events, the chief of the exercise evaluation team considers this Foggy Shores exercise a success.
"All exercises are a success because we always learn something from them," Mr. Treat said. "We can only get better from any exercises--they prepare the wing for outstanding results."