Deployment, emergency management inspection concludes
By Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 27, 2014
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In an effort to measure aptitudes and deficiencies, Airmen throughout VAFB recently participated in a base-wide deployment and emergency management inspection here, March 17 through 25.
The dual phased inspection began with a massive deployment scenario and culminated with an emergency management scenario.
"The two types of inspections we focus on are a surge, or worst case scenario deployment supporting a massive buildup of forces," said Rodger Peterson, 30th Space Wing Deputy Inspector General. "The second is emergency management involving some kind of large response, our recovery from that response and getting back to our primary mission."
Prior to initial inspections, participants were required to complete comprehensive computer based training and then received additional interactive training led by various instructors.
"Everyone who comes to this training has to take their CBTs," said Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Schultz, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in-charge of emergency management operations. "We give them the hands-on training they can't receive during the CBTs. We then evaluate against a 'go or no-go' standard to see if they retained the information. If they didn't retain it, we don't fail them. We reinforce what the CBT taught. We help them understand where in the Airman's manual all of this can be found."
All organizations are encouraged to take full advantage of opportunities to practice and prepare for the unexpected.
"Normally, these emergency management inspections involve some unknown event, natural disaster, major accident or incident," said Peterson. "Units should use readiness days to train for these types of events and conduct joint training as much as possible. Units that consistently train for the unknown, perform significantly better than those who don't."
Although such worse-case scenarios are infrequent, base leadership knows regular practice is more than just important - it's a responsibility.
"Our quarterly inspections allow us to practice skills that we may never or rarely use real-world, but will absolutely need if we find ourselves in crisis situations," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander. "These inspections keep us proficient in base-wide emergency management, deployment processes, and individual skills and ultimately define our readiness as Airmen and as a base."
The significance of inspections such as this, extend to improving any inadequate methods as well as recognizing efficient practices.
"It's our duty as an installation to provide honest, unbiased feedback to commanders and for all of us to be transparent and self-identify problems so they may be properly addressed," explained Peterson. "These inspections allow us to gauge our capabilities and see if there are any areas that need improvement."
Balts understands these evaluations serve more than one purpose and can help bolster overall cohesion.
"These inspections also go beyond direct application to the scenarios presented, they make us a better team overall through improved communication and a mutual understanding of our collective strengths and weaknesses," said Balts. "Those benefits translate to more effective day-to-day operations and to our primary launch missions as well."