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Dyess conducts virtual pandemic exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Owsianka
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 317th Airlift Wing and 7th Bomb Wing conducted a virtual training scenario that enabled Airmen from different squadrons to demonstrate the base’s ability to recover a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft if a passenger was suspected of showing symptoms of COVID-19 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, March 27, 2020.

Airmen from the 39th Airlift Squadron, 40th AS, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 7th Medical Group and 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron came together to provide the necessary training to ensure all of the agencies are prepared for real-world scenarios.

“This exercise ensured that our people are properly equipped with the appropriate guidance to execute the mission effectively and safely,” said Maj. Michael Mayor, 317th AW inspector general. “Protecting our people is our priority, and talking through the scenario on video chat enabled all agencies involved to create an effective response plan in case it were to happen in real life.”

During the discussed training scenario, one of the simulated C-130J aircraft passengers began showing COVID-19 symptoms prior to landing at Dyess AFB resulting in multiple base agencies responding to the incident.

Those involved in the virtual discussion talked through each step of how they would safely respond to the incident and properly quarantine the individual while providing necessary medical care.

“This was a chance for us to talk through the procedures we would use during a potential real-world scenario and help us identify the specific role we would play,” said Capt. William Vine, 40th AS executive officer. “This provided us with the chance to see what worked, areas we can improve on and how to effectively communicate with other organizations that we will work with when potentially handling a scenario like this. There’s no doubt in my mind that we are better prepared to handle a situation like this if it were to occur.”

The training scenario helped Dyess Airmen increase their operational capabilities when it comes to protecting their fellow Airmen and maintaining mission readiness during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Good preparation and planning plays a huge role in protecting our people,” said Master Sgt. Curtis Cleveland, 317th AMXS lead production superintendent. “We are constantly conducting proper decontamination procedures of the aircraft as we continue to fly to sustain mission readiness.”

The virtual discussion helped develop how Airmen would accomplish how people, vehicles and equipment would be involved in a real-world scenario.

“Each organization has spent a significant amount of time developing their own procedures for responding in the COVID-19 environment and this allowed us to get on the same page,” Mayor said. “When developing tactics, techniques and procedures to operate in a new threat environment, it’s crucial that all of the different organizations cross-talk to ensure they learn from each other to effectively and safely respond when called upon.”