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An active shooter response exercise participant simulates firing a handgun during an active shooter response exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, Sept. 2. The station also participated in an aircraft mishap response exercise the next day as part of required annual safety training for the installation.

Photo by Cpl. Michael Thorn

Emergency response training exercises ensure rapid response at MCAS Miramar

10 Sep 2015 | Cpls Alissa Schuning and Michael Thorn The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines, sailors and civilians aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, participated in two emergency response exercises Sept. 2 and 3. 

The exercises consisted of an active shooter response scenario exercise and an aircraft mishap response scenario exercise aboard the air station. 

“We conducted training for the past two days on a series of all hazard events,” said Kevin Kelley, MCAS Miramar emergency manager. “Emergency personnel have thought through the scenarios and possibilities, made sure that we’ve executed our plans to the best of our capability, and if we have any deficiencies or short falls, we have the chance to correct or mitigate [them.] So if the time comes, we’re able to execute and make sure the commanding officer is getting the support that he would expect.” 

During the active shooter response exercise, two acting gunmen simulated attacks from different vantage points. Military and civilian police officers then responded to the attacks, primarily neutralizing the threat and responding to victims. 

“I feel like it’s important to hone in on these skill sets,” said Cpl. Desean White, a military police officer with the Provost Marshal’s Office. “It’s easy to get complacent. We always want to be proactive as Marines.”

The aircraft mishap response exercise simulated two different crash sites for the base fire department and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting to respond to. Both simulated crashes required personnel to quickly extinguish any simulated fires and locate crash victims. 

“We practiced responding to a midair collision,” said Kelley. “That forced ARFF and the base fire department to come and work together on two different crash sites, something that we haven’t done in the past.” 

According to Kelly, this training takes place at this time of the year to assess emergency assets as everyone prepares for the upcoming MCAS Miramar Air Show, coming Oct. 2 – 4.