Safety training for Fiesta of Flight airshow

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keira Rossman
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

A Major Accident Response Exercise (MARE) was held at Laughlin Air Force Base, Dec. 14, 2023, in preparation for hosting the Fiesta of Flight Airshow set to take place March 9, 2024. 

Airmen participating in the MARE underwent training to test and enhance their capabilities in the response of major accident scenarios. 

“The primary objective for the MARE is to evaluate the wing’s ability to respond to a major accident,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Morris Jr., 47th Flying Training Wing Inspector General superintendent. “Ensuring all first responders and supporting agencies are ready to respond is also an objective.” 

The MARE included various simulated factors including an aircraft collision, mass casualties, safety protocols on approaching the crash site, and an active shooter. 

“Working alongside my team was very beneficial to my experience,” said Senior Airman Madison Vega, 47th Medical Group family medicine technician. “My whole team is an amazing group of people that give everything their 100%. The one thing that the medical field and the Air Force has taught me is that I am never alone. Exercises can be stressful, but it makes it easier when you have people there willing to help so all the pressure doesn’t just fall on you.” 

Exercises are vital in preparing Airmen and ensuring they are equipped to handle a range of emergency situations.  

“One scenario where I had to adapt was when I was finished getting repeat vitals on my patient another patient collapsed and ended up coding,” commented Vega. “I quickly responded with other medics and helped where I was needed, which was providing CPR.” 

A Wing Inspection Team (WIT), comprised of subject matter experts (SME), strategically observe Airmen’s response during the MARE to determine the success of the exercise. 

“Across the wing, WIT members have one objective in mind”, said Morris, “and that is to make Team XL better and ensure we are ready to respond to any incident.” 

The feedback provided to units by inspection team members serves as a foundational tool for learning and growth. By pinpointing areas that require improvement, Airmen are able to evolve and enhance response capabilities.  

“Placing Airmen under these stressful situations in an exercise scenario will also help them grow as a leader because it builds confidence within themselves to make sound decisions under stressful environment,” explained Morris.  

By simulating potential real-life scenarios, Airmen can practice incident response procedures in a safe yet realistic setting. Exercises such as these are crucial for maintaining high standards of readiness, communication and capability of involved units.