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Tornado exercise slated for March 31

Wright-Patterson AFB first responders load a volunteer “victim” onto a vehicle for emergency transport during a May 2013 tornado exercise. Response action is expected of all personnel during the March 31 base-wide drill.

Wright-Patterson AFB first responders load a volunteer “victim” onto a vehicle for emergency transport during a May 2013 tornado exercise. Response action is expected of all personnel during the March 31 base-wide drill.(U.S. Air Force photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will conduct a scheduled tornado-exercise scenario March 31.

The Installation Command Center will activate warning sirens, issue notifications over the “Giant Voice” announcement system and use other communication modes across Areas A and B on base.

Response action is expected of everyone on the installation. Upon notification, all should immediately take shelter and remain there until the all-clear notification is given.

The 88th Air Base Wing’s inspection team will evaluate exercise response throughout Wright-Patterson AFB.

“It’s important for everyone to participate in the exercise as tornadoes can strike anywhere,” Garth Freund, 88th Air Base Wing exercise planner, said. “Several tornadoes struck the Dayton area just a couple of years ago and in 1974 the city of Xenia was devastated by a very large tornado.”

As an important reminder, since this is an exercise and training event, individuals on and around the base should not call 911.

Base officials said tornado-response information should be reviewed and facility shelter locations confirmed in advance of the exercise to ensure personnel know exactly what steps they should take and where to go.

“This is important knowledge to commit to memory in case the need to act ever arises during an actual tornado,” Freund said.

Potential exercise effects could include:

- Gate traffic could be backed up or rerouted to other entry-control points if a gate is closed.

- Emergency-response vehicles moving around the base.

- Travel congestion.

- Temporary blockage of some roads.

- Increased security measures.

- “Giant Voice” activation.

- Use of telephone and electronic-notification methods.

- Alert sirens.

Surrounding communities, which may hear the sirens or “Giant Voice,” are advised it is part of an on-base exercise, unless otherwise notified.