MARE educates Team Fairchild Airmen, Spokane Community
By Airman Kiaundra Miller, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 13, 2019
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Team Fairchild Airmen and 18 local and other government agencies responded to a Major Accident Response Exercise in preparation for the base’s Inland Northwest SkyFest Open House.
The MARE is a “worst case scenario” simulation of several incidents that prompt Airmen and civilian partner agencies to react and gain control of situations in the event something happens during the show.
“I think this exercise will take us to a point where we are as prepared as we can be,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Clayton Simon, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Inspector General exercise planner. “There’s no way you can be fully equipped for an unfortunate event like this because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but I would say that we’re well-prepared.”
To ensure the exercise was as realistic as possible, Simon went to key people from units on base and to off-base agencies for guidance to best educate and train Airmen and employees in case of an unfortunate accident.
“If the accident is so large that we cannot handle it ourselves, we would call for mutual assistance,” said Kimo Kuheana, 92nd Civil Engineering Squadron fire chief. “It’s important to have off-base agencies participate in case a plane goes down off-base, so that our mutual partners know what to do.”
The MARE taught Team Fairchild several lessons that allowed Airmen and agencies to build and strengthen their skills in gaining control of an aircraft crash situation.
“This exercise challenged us because we usually do one mock crash or one mock mass casualty during trainings like these,” Kuheana said. “This time, we had three separate incidents, with one off-base, so it really incorporated a lot of different things and taught us what we really needed to work on.”
Team Fairchild exercise planners decided to expand the size and scope of the exercise to allow Airmen to become more familiar with various crash types and the actions necessary to best respond, ensure public and base safety and further develop Airmen readiness in the face of any situation.
“This exercise is significantly larger than other exercises,” Simon said. “We want to make sure that if something unfortunate does happen, we’re ready.”
MARE exercises pushed Airmen and allowed them to see what improvements needed to be made in -order to further control the response to a crash, if one were to happen.
“Everything was prepped right; it was a really challenging exercise,” Kuheana said. “At the end of the day, it is a good exercise because now we’re finding out what we need to do; that’s the reason why we do them.”