For the first time under the Peterson-Schriever Garrison, the 310th Space Wing hosted an active shooter training exercise April 14.
These regularly held training exercises test the garrison personnel’s ability to react decisively and appropriately to these scenarios should they face them in reality. Units are usually given little to no notice of when they will be challenged with one of these scenarios.
“This was the active shooter exercise for all of Peterson-Schriever Garrison and this is the first time we’ve done it in a garrison construct,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Buscaglio, 310th SW exercise coordinator and development and training flight chief. “And we haven’t had one in one of our facilities since 2016.”
Buscaglio explained that while the 310th SW has to meet the same training and exercise requirements as the active duty host units, as a Reserve tenant unit the 310th SW does not always have the manning to perform these exercises to the same level of depth and realism that the active duty host units are capable of.
“I’ve built a pretty good relationship with the inspector general on the active duty side,” said Buscaglio. “So when they came to me and said, ‘hey, how do you feel about having it in your building?’ I said, absolutely.”
While the 310th SW provided their headquarters building along with the personnel inside, the 50th SW provided first responders in the form of security forces and the fire department. Additionally, members of the 21st SW Medical Group attended to the needs of personnel, victims and casualties.
“We are used to going through the motions when you hear the message, lockdown, lockdown, lockdown,” said Buscaglio. ‘’But when you actually have somebody yelling and screaming coming through the building, it changes the game a little bit. I wanted them to have that true, no-kidding feeling of being barricaded for a reason.”
To aid in the realism, the 310th SW supplied Airmen to roll play as gunshot victims. The actors were prepared with moulage, which are artificial wounds made of rubber and paint made to look as accurate as possible.
“The roll players were running around downstairs yelling and screaming,” said Buscaglio. “One of the barricaded rooms, I’m not sure which one, actually brought them in and performed self-aid buddy care on one of the victims.”
Buscaglio commented that the exercise went exceedingly well. All of the personnel involved played their roll faithfully and all of the exercise objectives, known as mission essential tasks, were met.
“I was pleasantly surprised with how it all went,” said Buscaglio. “It went really well.”
“I think we really showed that our folks are ready to do the mission regardless of what happens,” said Buscaglio. “Even though they got locked down for an hour and a half, they popped up and went right back to work like they didn’t even miss a beat. It really showed that they are very effective at doing their mission even when something else pops up and takes them out of that groove.”