News Search

Getting ready for the worst case scenario

  • Published
  • By Dan Hawkins
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
Team Sheppard members participated in an Anti-Terrorism and Emergency Management exercise Feb. 21-23 in preparation for the upcoming Air Education and Training Command Compliance Inspection.

The exercise gave the team an opportunity to practice its ability to respond to an emergency scenario including heightened force protection conditions and response to a major accident. It also let participants transition through recent command and control structure modifications.

Ensuring administrative compliance with all base plans is just one part of ensuring the base is prepared for a peacetime or wartime contingency, said Lt. Col. Jeoffrey Sloan, 82nd Training Wing Plans and Programs officer. 

"Practicing the plans is critical to being ready for any situation," Sloan said. "Exercising command and control, increased force protection conditions, the accountability process, all of it, is the only way to ensure readiness and ability to put all of our plans into action."

The exercises are designed around response to worst-case scenario situations, with the understanding all key components of a response can be used in smaller type events.

"We do train for the worst possible situations," said Master Sgt. Sean O'Neil, superintendent of the 82nd Training Wing Plans and Programs Exercise Evaluation Team. "By training to the highest level possible, we're making the base ready for any real-world contingency. We are not just preparing for an inspection...this training can save lives."

With 17 exercises last year, including eight in the last six months, and two to three more scheduled before the inspection team's arrival at Sheppard in late April, the focus on compliance is getting narrower with each exercise.

"We're not fixing the major items now," O'Neil said. "It's about the small details now and tweaking the things we can improve on."

One of those items is communication, which is often an area for improvement regardless of the mission, real-world or exercise. Understanding the why of an exercise or real-world situation is also important, O'Neil said, along with being a key for inspection teams.

"Don't be afraid to ask why the base is changing FPCON's or you are being directed to shelter in place," he said. "Getting that communication from the top down can be challenging sometimes, but it's important for everyone to know what is going on around them."

Sloan emphasized inspection preparedness is not entirely about the checklist for each situation.

"Attitude is everything," said Sloan. "Showing a sense of urgency is key to any exercise...and inspectors will look at that. Treat every situation like it's the real thing and you can't go wrong."
Dress and Appearance
Awards and Decorations
Air Force Promotions
Fitness Program
AF Demographics