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Team V prepares for an EME

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- -- The 30th Space Wing Inspector General team is preparing for an emergency management exercise, here, March 10, aimed to test the wing's ability to respond to attacks and natural disasters.

"From an overall goal, we want to validate the wing's readiness to attacks and natural disasters," said Rodger Peterson, 30th Space Wing deputy inspector general. "That is all done by with the Wing Inspection Team."

The WIT is composed of technical experts across the wing that come together to work for the IG team during an evaluation. Prior to an EME, the WIT begins the evaluation with a planning process and pulls requirements out of Emergency Management 1025.01 and Air Force Instruction 90-201. The EME's are then scheduled on a quarterly base throughout the year to meet annual Air Force requirements.

"The AFI tells us everything that we need to do within a specific timeframe," said Capt. Samuel Vierra, 30th SW inspection team manager.

Although the AFI obligates all installations to meet the same requirements, there are aspects that set Vandenberg apart from the rest.

"What is unique is the space mission," said Peterson. "Not everyone has a launch pad on their base so that brings some unique challenges when it comes to launch anomalies. Another thing is that we don't have floods or hurricanes on this installation. Our natural disaster focus area is one of our biggest threats which are earthquakes."
With realism playing a significant factor during the evaluation, planners must create palpable scenarios units can strive to overcome.

"If you build a fake event, you're going to get a bad response," said Peterson. "Also, maximum participation is what we'll need to be successful."

With the IG team's ability to throw any number of scenarios at the base at once, it is essential all personnel remain ready for anything.

"The key to success for the individual units is being prepared," explained Vierra. "Use your readiness days to increase your readiness. Know your evacuation plan and shelter in place, and use the resources we're given. Ensure each person in your unit is aware and ready to support the readiness days and you'll do great."