By Airman 1st Class C. Todd Lopez
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (April 09, 1999) -- Dover Air Force Base recently completed a Major Accident Response Exercise.
The exercise began around 9 a.m. Friday when crash phones rang, announcing a Dover C-5 was having trouble with an engine.
The exercise escalated to a simulated crash of the C-5 Galaxy aircraft, with injuries and casualties.
The MARE, involving numerous civilian organizations, along with base organizations, tested the wing's ability to respond to a major on-base accident, said Chief Master Sgt. Rene Simard, 436th Airlift Wing Plans and Programs.
According to Simard, the process was really intended to be a learning process for military and civilian disaster response teams to gauge how they might work together in a real world situation.
"This was the first time many of us actually had to work with our civilian counterparts, the overwhelming consensus was that it went very well," said Simard.
"The off-base agencies integrated very well with our folks and everybody had a great attitude."
"I think it's very important that we worked together with civilians," said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Spreadbury, 436th Medical Group and MARE participant. "The planes landing here can carry hundreds of people. I don't think our medical group could handle something that large. We would rely on the civilians to help us. All the major inpatient facilities are downtown."
Simard said, "Our goal was to walk through the process. We hope to do something similar in the next three to six months. Next time we will make it more of a challenge, with as little notice as possible. That will make it more of a challenge for everyone involved in the exercise."