Third active shooter drill perfects 599th’s response

| August 9, 2013 | 1 Comment
Staff Sgt. Rufus Brumfield (left), command operations center NCO, and Gregory "Ben" Benjamin, traffic management specialist, give first aid to Sgt. 1st Class Darrell Earnest, operations NCOIC, for simulated mock injuries in an exercise at the 599th TSB headquarters, Aug. 1.

Staff Sgt. Rufus Brumfield (left), command operations center NCO, and Gregory “Ben” Benjamin, traffic management specialist, give first aid to Sgt. 1st Class Darrell Earnest, operations NCOIC, for simulated mock injuries in an exercise at the 599th TSB headquarters, Aug. 1.

Story and photos by Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — To kickoff the Army’s designated Antiterrorism Awareness Month, members of the 599th Transportation Surface Brigade exercised their skills at protecting, communicating and defending.

The unit held an active shooter and bomb drill, Aug. 1, in which all members of the headquarters participated.

In the past two years, the brigade has focused training on active shooters, with an external threat (shooters from outside the unit) in 2011 and an internal threat (the unit’s own employees) in 2012.

In this, the third year the brigade has held the drills, practice perfected employees’ reactions.

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — "Active shooter" Aaron Toman (left) leads Command Sgt. Maj. Claudia Shakespeare, senior enlisted adviser, 599th Transportation Sustainment Brigade, out to a waiting car after taking her hostage during an active shooter drill at the unit's headquarters, here, Aug. 1, as scenario player Lawrence Ahtuck (far right), S2, 599th TSB, evaluates the action. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — “Active shooter” Aaron Toman (left) leads Command Sgt. Maj. Claudia Shakespeare, senior enlisted adviser, 599th Transportation Sustainment Brigade, out to a waiting car after
taking her hostage during an active shooter drill at the unit’s headquarters, here, Aug. 1, as scenario player Lawrence Ahtuck (far right), S2, 599th TSB, evaluates the action. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs)

“Even though this was a much more complex scenario, it was evident that the practice we’ve gone through in the previous two years resulted in significantly more effective response,” said Bud Welch, 599th TSB force protection specialist.

The exercise began with a 5:45 a.m. alert call to all employees. After the alert, scenario actors placed several suspicious containers and backpacks around the headquarters to find out how many people would notice and report.

The “active shooters” then called several people in the brigade, trying to elicit information about the unit, followed by scenario role players setting simulated bombs off in different sections of building. Finally, when employees thought the drill was finished, the active shooters came through. Their goal was to kill all employees except the commander, whom they were tasked with kidnapping.

In the first active shooter drill, the brigade information technology specialist, Nefftaly Lugardo, attacked a shooter.

“Because I know it’s a drill, I’m more likely to try to take the guy down. Now, if it was real, I would be more likely to leave or hide,” Lugardo said. “I would be much less likely to attack a shooter in real life unless my kids were there, and there was no way out.”

However, the “shooter” said that if Lugardo’s fellow section members had joined with him in attacking, they would have succeeded in taking the shooter down.

“Most of our brigade operates in higher threat regions, not only where they are stationed, but also the places they travel to across the Pacific to execute their missions,” said Welch.

“It’s important for people to know what to do and who to contact in case they do have a terrorist or conventional, real-world event,” he added.

The drill culminated several hours of preparatory classes on force protection and first aid.

“We practice these drills in the event we had to face an actual active shooter,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Toman, 599th TSB deputy commanding officer. “Our people learn a great deal every time we practice, and you can see improvements each time.”

Tags: , , ,

Category: Exercises, News, Safety, Training

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Lisa Johnson says:

    Wow,seems like yesterday I lived in Hawaii. Where has time gone? Miss you Lawrence Ahtuck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *