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Mass casualty exercise a success thanks to community partners

Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. -- The 355th Wing and civil authorities came together to successfully conduct an emergency management exercise early Wednesday, displaying a cohesive and "very effective" working relationship, according to exercise planner Maj. Brendan O'Brien.

"The exercise, which tested the ability of base and local emergency responders, reinforced a strong working relationship in the areas of communication, command and control, and mutual support agreements. Most importantly, the community and the base were able to respond, triage, transport and provide life-saving treatment to more than 80 'victims,' minimizing the impact of a simulated terrorist incident," said Major O'Brien, of the wing's Plans, Programs and Inspections office.

O'Brien said that emergency responders have to be ready for any possible contingencies, and Wednesday's exercise showed that their capabilities are sharp.

"The partnerships we strengthen by conducting exercises like this are invaluable," he said. "We very much appreciate the diligence and professionalism of the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Tucson Fire and Police Departments, area health care officials and hospitals, and other emergency responders that we worked with on this exercise. In a real-world situation, we depend on each other for success."

The scenario was played out at Golf Links Sports Park, near Davis-Monthan's Craycroft Gate.

D-M officials have been working with local authorities on joint response, and increasing cooperation in staying prepared for contingencies.