Air Force

May 10, 2013

Airmen hone search, recovery skills during squadron exercise

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Michael Charles
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Travis Michel, 99th Force Support Squadron assignments counselor and casualty search and recovery team member, examines a simulated body part from a simulated victim of a C-17 Globemaster III crash for personal identifiable belongings May 6 during a Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Casualty Search and Recovery Exercise. SAR teams are responsible for recovering human remains and identifying wreckage from crash sites to help with mishap investigations.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Airmen from the 99th Force Support Squadron conducted a Casualty and Search and Recovery Team Exercise May 6 near the flightline here.

Search and recovery teams, mortuary affairs, as well as other units under the 99th FSS were tested on their ability to properly respond to a scenario in which a C-17 Globemaster III mishap happens in the Nevada desert.

“Nellis conducts a high abundance of sorties throughout the year,” said Robert Jones, 99th FSS Manpower and Organization chief. “That being said, it is important for our teams to be ready at a moment’s notice should any mishap in the area occur. A quick and effective response has the potential to save lives.”

Not to be confused with members of the combat search and rescue teams who enter combat situations rescuing service members from behind enemy lines, Airmen from the casualty search and recovery team are tasked with recovering human remains and identifying wreckage from crash sites to help with mishap investigations.

Tech Sgt. Martineze Terry, 99th Force Support Squadron manpower technician and casualty search and recovery team member, searches under clay for parts of a simulated C-17 Globemaster III May 6 during a Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Casualty Search and Recovery Exercise. The exercise gave new SAR members an opportunity to train on recovery procedures and techniques.

During this exercise, simulated body parts were scattered and buried throughout the desert to give a real life feel to a worst case scenario. Members were asked to assemble at the wreckage point and conduct a thorough search of the area to identify and label any debris that would help investigation teams and body parts that would help mortuary affairs identify casualties from the simulated crash.

“This was the most realistic exercise we have done in a search and recover perspective,” said Staff Sgt. David Reckling,” 99th FSS services specialist and SAR team member. “The fake body parts and small wreckage helps give the team some experience searching for items that don’t immediately pop out at you.”

Organizer’s decision to use the desert instead of the usual flightline setting gives the exercise a new element of realism according to Jones.

“The Nevada Test and Training Range is an exceptional spot for this exercise because of its similarities in landscape to Afghanistan,” Jones said. “It helps our teams build a better situational awareness to what they should be looking for in terms of terrain and attention to detail.”

“Normally we conduct exercises such as this one on the flightline, which gives our teams an easier training experience due to the easily contrasting and distinguishable items laying on the flat surface,” Reckling said. “This time is unique because it forces the teams to actually get down and search for the items. That way they are better prepared if something happens, and we have to do this same mission in Afghanistan.”

Members of the 99th Force Support Squadron Casualty Search and Recovery team search for items or body parts from a simulated C-17 Globemaster III May 6 during a Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Casualty Search and Recovery Exercise. SAR team members conducted a thorough search of the mock wreckage area to identify and label any debris that would help investigation teams pinpoint a cause for the crash and body parts that would help mortuary affairs identify casualties from the simulated crash.

The exercise also gave new SAR team members an opportunity to train on proper procedures and execution of their new responsibilities.

“Most of our team is new,” Reckling said. “This training at the very least gets them integrated into their new job responsibilities and partners them with experienced casualty search and recovery team members if they have questions.”

According to Jones, this exercise will not be the last. He hopes that more SAR exercises will be held in the future to ensure each team member stays current in their training.

“We want our members properly trained to provide the best recovery they can,” Jones said. “If you practice and scrimmage in the most realistic way possible, then should a mishap actually happen, we will be prepared for it. That is the goal.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

First enlisted Airmen awarded Weapons School graduate patches

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — History was made June 27, when five graduates of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller Weapons Instructor Course became the first enlisted Airmen in the school’s 66-year mission to be awarded the Weapons School’s graduate patch. These graduates will now be recognized as subject matter...
 
 

Staying safe during flash flood season

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — July is here with high temperatures and a high chance of flash flooding. The months with the highest probability for thunderstorms are July through September. Las Vegas’ annual rainfall is approximately 4.13 inches, and while this may not seem like a lot of rain, the elevation of Las Vegas...
 
 

Conquer fear, live your dream

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Are you living the dream? Do you wake up with energy each morning or do you need an energy drink to get you going? If you constantly hit the snooze button on your alarm, wake with no energy and low self-esteem, need lots of coffee, soda or energy drinks...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz

Weapons School honors newest graduates

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Gen. Lori Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, delivers the keynote speech during the U.S. Air Force Weapons School Class 15-A graduation ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev., Ju...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

Hunters save lives through RPA Human Performance Team

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay Considering the demands facing the remotely piloted aircraft enterprise, Team Creech has formed their own human performance team to meet the needs of those suppo...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Employment Assistance Program aids military members’ transition

Courtesy photo Members of the Nellis community attend a job fair as part of the Airman and Family Readiness Center’s Employment Assistance Program at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 23. The Employment Assistance Program he...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>