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Laughlin defenders train for active shooter
Airmen 1st Class Mark Walker Jr., left, and James Little III, both 47th Security Forces Squadron patrolmen, guard a door during an active shooter scenario at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 14, 2013. Several 47th SFS members helped during the exercise to resolve the active shooter scenario as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John D. Partlow)
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Laughlin defenders train for active shooter

Posted 8/20/2013   Updated 8/20/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman John D. Partlow
47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

8/20/2013 - LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The sound of sirens fills the air as Laughlin defenders hurriedly prepare their gear to handle a simulated active shooter scenario here Aug. 14 .

For a few hours, Laughlin personnel received and responded to information regarding a simulated active shooter at Bldg. 380 Aerospace Physiology.

"All exercises are different in their own way," said Senior Airman Zephaniah Welsh, 47th Security Forces Squadron base defense operations control controller. "The key is just adapting to the situation."

Once the exercise kicked-off, several 47th SFS members rushed the affected building, neutralizing the threat, clearing the area, and securing all persons with simulated injuries.

"As security forces members, we never know when an active shooter situation can erupt," said Christopher Koons, 47th SFS Standardization and Evaluation department security specialist. "These exercises allow us to be ready at all times."

47th Medical Group personnel participated by evaluating the medical needs of the role players involved in the mock shooting and working with the security forces members on extracting the wounded.

"Working together gets every organization on the same page," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Quintanilla, 47th Civil Engineer Squadron fire station captain. "Our communication improves, it lets us know what each other is doing, and it allows us to accomplish our ultimate goal which is to get everyone home to see their families."

The day held a range of simulated exercises, from the active shooter scenario, to the press conference with Col. Brian Hastings, 47th Flying Training Wing commander.

"Participating in the mock press conference was definitely a good experience," said Capt. Andrew Edmund, 47th Student Squadron recent Laughlin pilot graduate and role player during the exercise. "It allowed me to see a new perspective of the base during an exercise. I had no idea how involved other agencies really were."

The day ended when the situation played itself completely out and the base had successfully resolved the scenario.

We exercise so that all of Team XL in times of crisis can 'think without thinking' and execute, because we continually reinforce habits and responses through realistic training," said Hastings. "Overall, I'm proud of the work everyone has put it today, and we will continue to strive for excellence."

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