Daegu exercise tests response
By Mary Grimes
USAG Daegu Public Affairs
DAEGU — The skies over Daegu were anything but silent when a number of U.S. military elements from around the Southeast Hub rallied to participate in an Aviation Pre-Accident Plan Exercise Dec. 8.
Conducted quarterly, the primary goal of the exercise is to test the response time and procedures of the USAG Daegu agencies tied to the Aviation Pre-Accident Plan, ensuring all responsible personnel are ready to respond to an aircraft emergency at any time.
Units participating in the exercise included H-805 Heliport Operations, H-805 Heliport Safety, the Camp Walker Fire Department, 168th MMB, military police, and 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, (specifically for this exercise, A Co., 2-2 Aviation/“Mustang 18”).
According to Brian Parrotte, Airfield Manager, USAG Daegu, the training was conducted with a very clear purpose. He said, “Response time is among the key things we look for in this type of training. It is a primary consideration, but just as important, arguably more so, is did the responders know what to do when they arrived, and did they do it correctly? It is of little consequence to a pilot who is injured due to an improper extraction process, to know that at least the responders got there fast.”
With so many players involved in the training, ensuring everyone was aware of their responsibilities was crucial. Said Parrotte, “H-805 Operations is the proponent for the Aviation Pre-Accident Plan – a detailed set of instructions that tells each agency what their role and responsibilities are in the event of an aircraft accident, on or off post.”
Unlike some training events where lots of time is devoted to preparations, the Aviation Pre-Accident exercise is handled somewhat differently.
“Depending on the goal of each exercise, and who is the primary target for evaluation, planning can be almost none as the exercise is activated without notice, or, as in this instance, planning is spread over several days to ensure all agencies receive the maximum training benefit,” Parrotte said.
Although deemed a success, the training was not without its challenges, and developing scenarios that ensured responders were presented with realistic training, led the way.
“With this type of recurring training requirement it is easy to get stuck in a rut and simply repeat canned scenarios,” Parrotte said. “We strive to ensure exercises conducted at H-805 provide the maximum training benefit to better prepare all agencies in the event we are faced with an actual emergency.”
The exercise completed, Parrotte provided feedback on how things went. He said, “The response time was great and that is in itself a testament to the dedicated people here in the Southeast Hub. This was an unannounced drill. Therefore agencies had to drop what they are doing and react.”