Air Force

November 30, 2012

Practice, plan makes perfect in active shooter exercise

Tags:
Lt. Col. STEPHEN HICKEY and Maj. BRANDON ROTH
56th Fighter Wing Inspector General


You’re waiting to talk with a TRICARE specialist on the third floor of the Medical Group building. Suddenly, you hear muffled shots ring out and screaming. What do you do? What will the base do?

To answer this question, the 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an AETC-directed active-shooter exercise Wednesday and Thursday to test whether military and civilian personnel understand what to do if this real-world scenario ever happens. The base’s coordinated emergency response and recovery game plans will also be tested.

The active-shooter response plan at Luke Air Force Base consists of three main phases: immediate actions, installation response and installation recovery.

  1. Immediate actions phase: “Lockdown”
    1. Base
      1. Notify (Giant Voice, AT-HOC, email)
      2. Restrict access
      3. Dispatch law enforcement
    2. Unit
      1. Announce LOCKDOWN
      2. Secure doors
      3. Get personnel to safe area
    3. Individual
      1. Shooter in vicinity: Evacuate, hide, attack
      2. Indoors: lock/barricade room, turn off lights, silience phones
      3. Outdoors: seek cover, concealment or run away
      4. In car: pull into parking lot, turn off car, get low
      5. Call 911 and report


    Emphasis in this phase is on notifying the base, getting people to safety, and neutralizing the shooter. The base is locked down to clear the area of potential targets and ensure innocents are not harmed when law enforcement targets the shooter. Individuals who see or hear shots should evacuate the area if they can, hide in a locked/barricaded room, or fight if no other option exists. When safe to do so, call 911 or use LMRs to alert the base of an Active Shooter. Upon LOCKDOWN notification, buildings will be locked and the base made to appear deserted so as to prevent targeting by the shooter — do not expect to get in buildings. Be aware it may take several minutes before police will be able to respond.

  2. Installation response phase: “Lockdown terminated, STAY PUT, key personnel respond”
      1. Base
        1. First responders and CAT/EOC move
        2. Outbound gate lanes open for off-base responders
        3. Off-base assets arrive and go to incident site
        4. Establish incident cordon
      2. Unit
        1. Affected unit performs SABC, triage and transport wounded
        2. Activate UCC/GCC
        3. Accountability drill
        4. ID and hold witnesses
        5. Allow those outside in
        6. Sweep outside each building for dead, wounded evidence
        7. Do not disturb crime scene
      3. Individual
        1. STAY PUT!
        2. Turn on/un-mute phones and computers
        3. Stand by for words from leadership
        4. Be patient and vigilant


    Terminating LOCKDOWN means the base is responding to the still-desperate situation. First responders, command/control personnel and off-base responders will still be moving. It is imperative all other personnel stay put to avoid being a hindrance to these efforts. All units should begin to up-channel information such as the number of dead, injured, or missing, as well as the names of anyone who witnessed the shooting. If the shooting happened in your area, conduct SABC on the wounded, but otherwise do not disturb the crime scene area — do not clean up, do not touch bodies, do not move shell casings — stay away from the scene. Be vigilant for other threats and be patient as leadership understands the scope of the problem and decides when it is prudent to release personnel.

      STAY PUT

    • DO NOT leave facilities unless directed
    • Remain clear of exterior windows in present facility
    • Base authorities will recall key teams
    • Report any additional critical information
  3. Installation recovery phase: “All clear, FPCON (TBD)”
      1. Base
        1. Open gates
        2. Initiate Casualty Assistance Support Team
        3. Communicate with the base and media
        4. Transfer crime scene to FBI
      2. Unit
        1. SQ/CC coordinate w/ GP/CC for personnel release
        2. Unit CC huddle
        3. Prepare for any follow on support requirements
      3. Individual
        1. Refer questions about shooting to public affairs
        2. Do not post anything on social media
        3. Be aware of post-traumatic stress — get help if needed


    The “ALL CLEAR” signal means the base is ready to transition back to normal operations. Your commander will release you, but be aware you may be kept in place if releasing you may jeopardize the crime scene, there are augmentee requirements that need to be filled, you are a witness that needs to be interviewed, or you are experiencing post-traumatic shock from the shooting. The base will broadcast information about the shooting to the media in a purposely deliberate fashion. This is to ensure accuracy of information and give time for next of kin notifications. Base personnel should refer questions to public affairs and should refrain from discussing, speculating, or otherwise broadcasting details of the incident to friends, family, or via social media.

      release of information
      Do not release information

    • Casualty notification to families is first priority
    • Avoid using social media
    • Be alert for personnel requesting information not officially released
    • Refer requests for information to public affairs



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