On Aug. 1, defenders from the 412th Security Forces Squadron responded to Bldg. 2850 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., after a report of shots fired, what they arrived to were people screaming and a mass shooting situation leaving carnage everywhere.
Edwards AFB kicked off the month of August with Exercise Desert Wind 16-05. The training exercise was conducted to test the entire base’s response capabilities to include security forces, medical response, command communications and lockdown procedures across Edwards.
In the all-too-real scenario, a “self-radicalized” disgruntled employee decided to attack personnel at Bldg. 2850 where the 412th Test Wing Inspector General’s office is located along with base legal counsel and union offices.
In all, 22 people were shot and 13 killed. The shooter committed suicide at the scene.
As with every exercise conducted here, the situation and response is made to be as real as possible, with the “wounded” and “dead” players displaying gruesome injuries thanks to the moulage team from the 412th Medical Group.
Following the initial response, Edwards AFB’s Emergency Operations Center personnel were called into action along with the Crisis Action Team.
The wounded personnel were evacuated from Bldg. 2850 to be treated by the Edwards AFB Fire Department in a makeshift triage area in the parking lot. However, another scenario was thrown into the mix with the discovery of a bomb in a nearby truck. Both patients and firefighters had to evacuate the area while Edwards AFB’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were called in to disarm the fake bomb using one of their robots.
Edwards partnered with Palmdale Regional Medical Center off base where they conducted their own training by accepting two van loads of wounded personnel from the base. They were treated in the hospital’s emergency room.
Edwards AFB tries to conduct emergency exercises four times a year involving different scenarios including plane crashes, natural disasters and terrorist attacks.