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MARE educates Team Fairchild Airmen, Spokane Community

A firefighter from the Airway Heights Fire Department the scene around a helicopter crash trainer during a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

A firefighter from the Airway Heights Fire Department the scene around a helicopter crash trainer during a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. Partnering with Fairchild AFB allows civilian agencies in the local community to best respond to any incident that may occur, helping ensure total force partnership readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

Firefighters from the Airway Heights Fire Department wrestle a hose while approaching a helicopter crash trainer during a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

Firefighters from the Airway Heights Fire Department wrestle a hose while approaching a helicopter crash trainer during a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. In the event of an off-base military incident, first-responder jurisdiction falls on the community that it occurs in. Team Fairchild maintains partnership agreements with local authorities to help manage any off-base incidents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

A firefighter from the Airway Heights Fire Department observes preparations for a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

A firefighter from the Airway Heights Fire Department observes preparations for a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. MARE exercises are held before major events that have high attendance or carry possible risks, helping to ensure that responders have the latest training and resources required in the event of an accident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey

Firefighters from the Airway Heights Fire Department test hose pressure while preparing for a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

Firefighters from the Airway Heights Fire Department test hose pressure while preparing for a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. Team Fairchild has several agreements in place with local off-base agencies for fire, ambulance, law enforcement and more to help ensure that all possible resources are available to best serve the base and surrounding community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

A helicopter crash trainer from Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, is on fire while Team Fairchild simulated an explosion during a Major Accident Response Exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base, May 9, 2019.

A helicopter crash trainer from Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, is on fire while Team Fairchild simulated an explosion during a Major Accident Response Exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base, May 9, 2019. JBLM donated their crash trainer to Fairchild to help during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Urique Tatoula, 92nd Aerospace Medical Squadron operational medical technician, provides simulated medical care to Airman Kristine Bonch, 92nd Force Support Squadron fitness apprentice, during a Major Accident Response Exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Urique Tatoula, 92nd Aerospace Medical Squadron operational medical technician, provides simulated medical care to Airman Kristine Bonch, 92nd Force Support Squadron fitness apprentice, during a Major Accident Response Exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. During the MARE, Airmen were given the opportunity to role-play as injured bystanders that needed aid from medical responders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kiaundra Miller)

A Fairchild medical response team carries a fellow airman role-playing as an injured bystander during the Major Action Response Exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

A Fairchild medical response team carries a fellow airman role-playing as an injured bystander during the Major Action Response Exercise at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. The MARE included several simulated aircraft crashes, mock casualties and three fires to equip Team Fairchild for the upcoming Inland Northwest SkyFest Open House. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kiaundra Miller)

A firefighter from the Airway Heights Fire Department pulls out lengths of fire hose while preparing for a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019.

A firefighter from the Airway Heights Fire Department pulls out lengths of fire hose while preparing for a Major Accident Response Exercise drill near Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 9, 2019. The MARE included simulated aircraft crashes, several mock casualties and three aircraft crash simulations as part of preparations for this year’s SkyFest at the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

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.”