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Base-wide active-shooter exercise scheduled for Feb. 24

Wright-Patterson AFB Security Forces and emergency-response personnel enter a base facility during a February 2015 active-shooter exercise. Active-shooter response is the focus of a base-wide exercise Feb. 24. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Wright-Patterson AFB Security Forces and emergency-response personnel enter a base facility during a February 2015 active-shooter exercise. Active-shooter response is the focus of a base-wide exercise Feb. 24. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

WRIGHT-PATTERSN AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wright-Patterson AFB will conduct a base-wide active-shooter training exercise Feb. 24 on Areas A and B.

The base will go into a full lockdown in response to the scheduled training scenario. The Installation Command Center will issue notifications to the base over the Giant Voice public announcement system, social media and other internal communication methods.

Garth Freund, the 88th Air Base Wing exercise planner, said Wright-Patt’s Security Forces, Fire Department and medical services will all respond and play a part in the drill. The scenario will take place around Bldg. 434 on Area B.

During the exercise, immediate action is expected of everyone on the installation, he added, and all should treat the active-shooter scenario as though it is a real-world occurrence.

“Active-shooter incidents can happen very quickly. Exercises, training and being prepared to take appropriate actions can save lives,” Freund said.

Those in the immediate proximity of the exercise should respond accordingly by practicing the “Run, Hide, Fight” response method. Meanwhile, personnel on both Areas A and B should go into lockdown mode or find a place of concealment and remain until the “all-clear” signal is given.

Wing inspection team members will be evaluating the exercise response throughout the entire installation. They will be marked with badges and vests.

Base officials are asking individuals, on or around the base, to not call 911 if they see or hear WPAFB emergency-response personnel conducting training operations during the exercise.

“This is an exercise and a training event. We don’t want off-base police or fire to respond to the base,” Freund said.

The exercise’s response phase is scheduled from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Most of the base will be done with the drill afterward; however, training activities will continue at the scene.

Organizations working directly in “recovery” operations, such as the Emergency Operations Center, will continue to be involved, Freund added.

Potential training exercise effects and impacts could include:

  • Gate traffic or motorists rerouted to other entry-control points if a gate is closed.
  • Emergency-response vehicles moving around the base.
  • Travel congestion.
  • Temporary blockage of some roadways.
  • Increased security measures.
  • “Giant Voice” activation.
  • Use of telephone and electronic-notification methods.
  • Alert sirens

Freund emphasized that Wright-Patterson AFB is not trying to surprise anybody and this training ensures base personnel and emergency responders are prepared for an active-shooter incident.

Surrounding communities may hear emergency-response vehicle sirens or the Giant Voice, which are all part of the training exercise.  

Active-shooter training should also be reviewed in advance of the exercise to ensure personnel know exactly what steps they should take if a real event occurs, Freund added.