KSLA Salutes: An exercise in preparedness

KSLA Salutes: An exercise in preparedness
On Friday, Team Barksdale conducted a mass accident readiness exercise, or MARE, ahead of the 2021 Defenders of Liberty Airshow. (Source: KSLA)

BAFB, La. (KSLA) - On Friday, April 23, Team Barksdale conducted a mass accident readiness exercise, or MARE, ahead of the 2021 Defenders of Liberty Airshow.

This specific exercise helped train the airmen and base residents to respond to a potential airshow plane crash. Since this year’s airshow will be a drive-in format, they did so by creating the scenario that two planes collided and landed in an airshow viewing area.

Base first responders, security forces and medical personnel, along with community first responders participated.

Barksdale conducts a mass accident readiness exercise on base

”This year the show is going to be a drive-in type tailgating event so what we did have a few vehicles placed around and we simulated an aircraft crashed at show center, creating a mass causality, chaotic event,” said David West, NCOIC of Wing Exercises. “To prepare for this, we had to conduct a few planning meetings. We have over 400 people participating from on and off base. It took quite an effort just to plan this.”

Doing such exercises is to show how plans and procedures on base work during emergencies, as well as shows what can potentially be modified for real-life events.

“It’s important that we conduct these exercises as worst case scenario,” West said. “It tests our responders, it tests our local community, an it pushes us to the limit so that when something does happen we are prepared. Of course you can never fully prepare for the worst, but practicing our plans and procedures, having as many responders as possible, realistic players shows just how panicked and chaotic something could potentially get.”

The base holds these exercises at least once a year.

Free tickets are now available for the 2021 Defenders of Liberty Air Show. The show is scheduled for May 8 and 9 at Barksdale Air Force Base.

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