KIRTLAND AFB, N.M. --
Every day, defenders arm up and are assigned to different parts of the base for security. But what happens when an Airman turns his or her weapon on his or her own wingmen?
To prepare for the possibility of this scenario, the 377th Security Forces Squadron conducted an active shooter exercise at the 377th Medical Group Feb. 21.
“Security forces starts by identifying the shooters location in order to neutralize the threat,” said Capt. Keith Saylors, 377th SFS operations officer. “Our secondary job is to identify members that may be injured in order to get them the right medical care. Our third objective is to maintain security of the facility to ensure the environment is safe for medical personnel, fire department, and EMTs to get inside and treat the patients.”
In the exercise, the “shooter” was receiving treatment at the medical group’s mental health clinic for stress due to a divorce and other disciplinary actions against them. While the exercise lasted for 90 minutes, security forces had taken down the “shooter” within 15 minutes.
“Being able to participate in any scenario that’s going to help both security forces and medical groups prevent this in the future is beneficial no matter what role we play,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Belcher, a law enforcement operations officer who played the shooter during the exercise.
After security forces cleared the clinic, medics entered the building under escort to treat the wounded inside.
“Our primary part of the exercise was to ensure that our staff members knew how to respond to a lockdown situation,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jodi Flugel, 377th Aerospace Medicine Squadron superintendent. “Secondary to that, we wanted to get our readiness treatment teams ready to respond to casualties in the building.”
Security forces conducts several different active shooter exercises during the year, at various locations on the base and with many different agencies.