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Active shooter exercise tests base’s response

Members of the 81st Medical Group retrieve actors portraying victims from the scene during an active shooter exercise at the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Members of the 81st Medical Group retrieve actors portraying victims from the scene during an active shooter exercise at the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler first responders medically assess actors portraying victims during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler first responders medically assess actors portraying victims during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Kenneth Dodd, 81st Training Wing historian, portrays a reporter asking questions during a mock press conference during an active shooter exercise at the 81st TRW headquarters building Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Kenneth Dodd, 81st Training Wing historian, portrays a reporter asking questions during a mock press conference during an active shooter exercise at the 81st TRW headquarters building Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

James Donnett, 81st Infrastructure Division fire chief, discusses the action plan during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

James Donnett, 81st Infrastructure Division fire chief, discusses the action plan during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Tech. Sgt. Chad Byall, 81st Security Forces investigations NCO in charge, attempts to negotiate with the “bad guy” during an active shooter exercise at the Larcher Chapel Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Tech. Sgt. Chad Byall, 81st Security Forces investigations NCO in charge, attempts to negotiate with the “bad guy” during an active shooter exercise at the Larcher Chapel Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. Terry Durbin Jr., 81st Medical Operations Squadron emergency services medical technician, medially assesses Samuel Raleigh, 81st Communications Squadron quality assurance inspector, who portrays a victim during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. Terry Durbin Jr., 81st Medical Operations Squadron emergency services medical technician, medially assesses Samuel Raleigh, 81st Communications Squadron quality assurance inspector, who portrays a victim during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. Terry Durbin Jr., 81st Medical Operations Squadron emergency services medical technician, medically assesses Airman 1st Class Jonathan Ryden, 336th Training Squadron student, who portrays a victim during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. Terry Durbin Jr., 81st Medical Operations Squadron emergency services medical technician, medically assesses Airman 1st Class Jonathan Ryden, 336th Training Squadron student, who portrays a victim during an active shooter exercise outside of the Arnold Medical Annex Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. James Matthews II, 81st Security Forces Squadron flight sergeant, holds his post during an active shooter exercise at the Larcher Chapel Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. James Matthews II, 81st Security Forces Squadron flight sergeant, holds his post during an active shooter exercise at the Larcher Chapel Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airman 1st Class Marissa Cowan, 81st Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician, explains her actions to Chaplain (Col.) Alan Chouest, 81st Training Wing wing chaplain, as she role plays as the “bad guy” during an active shooter exercise at the Larcher Chapel Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airman 1st Class Marissa Cowan, 81st Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician, explains her actions to Chaplain (Col.) Alan Chouest, 81st Training Wing wing chaplain, as she role plays as the “bad guy” during an active shooter exercise at the Larcher Chapel Sept. 21, 2017, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. An active duty Air Force member simulated opening fire at the Arnold Medical Annex and the Larcher Chapel in order to test the base's ability to respond to and recover from a mass casualty event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Airmen from the 81st Training Wing experienced an active shooter exercise here Sept. 22.

The exercise was designed to simulate the chaotic nature of a disgruntled person entering a facility on base and opening fire. 

“For the exercise we wanted to test the base’s ability to respond to an active shooter,” said William Mays, 81st Training Wing Inspector General wing inspection team manager. “The base went into lockdown and we had 81st Security Forces Squadron, 81st Medical Group and Keesler Fire Department Airmen respond to secure the situation and ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

The actor, portraying an active shooter in this exercise, entered the Arnold Medical Annex and began firing shots with the intent to kill. The shooter killed one person and injured multiple others in this simulation at the Arnold Medical Annex. The shooter then moved to the Larcher Chapel, where she took multiple hostages and barricaded herself in a room.

Airmen from the 81st SFS responded quickly to each incident and worked together to clear rooms and isolate where the shooter was.

“I was confident in my training and knew I was ready to execute,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Kaltenbronn, 81st SFS reports and analysis NCO in charge. “The responding force was able to stay calm and collected in order to eliminate the threat.”

Base exercises teach Keesler personnel to expect the unexpected. This type of exercise showed people exactly how dangerous and unpredictable this type of situation can be, said Kaltenbronn.

“At any minute, on any day, things could be radically different and that’s why it’s so important to be ready for whatever happens,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Mark Williams, 81st TRW chaplain.

The 81st TRW IG team stressed that knowing how to react to situations like active shooters is crucial for all members on base.

“Stay out of the way, run and hide if an active shooter actually does happen,” said Mays. “Stay out of the way and let security forces do what security forces does.”