NAS Falllon conducts life-like training exercise | NevadaAppeal.com

NAS Falllon conducts life-like training exercise

MCS1 Joseph R. Voincent
NAF Fallon Public Affairs

Naval Air Station Fallon recently conducted a multi-vehicle collision exercise for security and first responder personnel.

The exercise was part of an ongoing realistic training program designed by the Installation Training Team (ITT) to train base force protection and Federal Fire personnel on response and communication procedures.

"For this drill, we pre-staged two wrecked vehicles with the help of Scott Swan and Bob Shank. They were able to make this scenario real for us, and it greatly improved the level of training that took place," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jean Yusten, a force protection training team observer. "With the positive working relationship the Training Department has been able to establish, we always find ourselves working alongside individuals who are willing, able, and even excited to help us out with preparations and pre-staging."

Weeks of preparation went into this drill, with assistance and donation of the vehicles from local companies like Fallon Towing.

"Our ITT works together to ensure clear and defined objectives are identified, operational risk management (ORM) is discussed, and the proper controls are implemented," said Chris Pierce, the training officer for NAS Fallon. "As the old adage goes, 'Train Like You Fight, Fight Like You Train.'"

Using overturned and wreaked vehicles, role-players with realistic injuries and fully body dummies, and actual response times, the exercise simulated the multi-vehicle, multi-victim accident as real-to-life as possible while still maintaining the highest standard of safety.

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"Prior to drill execution, while conducting the safety walk-thru; just observing the broken glass, broken taillights, and getting a whiff of the old wrecked vehicle smells really set the scene," said Chris Pierce, training officer for NAS Fallon. "When I asked the Navy Security Force and Federal Fire first responders how they liked the props, it was a unanimous 'thumbs up'."

For the exercise, the simulated victim, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Mark Trietch, spent hours preparing for the role and received instruction from ITT on what to do during the exercise.

"We started with makeup, which took about 30 minutes to prep for all the injuries that I would sustain during the drill," said Trietch. "I was instructed to act as an unconscious patient with severe head trauma, so most of the drill I had to remain unconscious."

The exercise lasted 3 hours and was followed by a detailed onsite debrief.

"Our patrol officers recognized the situation, took the appropriate actions, and they did it with enthusiasm and determination," said Yusten. "A training environment that can foster such positive outcomes is always rewarding."

Those involved thought the exercise was a resounding success.

"I think they did a pretty good job," said Trietch. "I felt like I could trust them to quickly take care of me, or anyone else, if that situation ever happened."

"I have been affiliated with training for almost 20 years and I have NEVER seen training executed like we do at NAS Fallon and Churchill County," said Pierce.

"As our Commanding Officer, Captain Leif Steinbaugh once stated, 'If we are going to inconvenience personnel when we conduct training, let's make it count, and let's get as close to real as possible.'"

"Our patrol officers recognized the situation, took the appropriate actions, and they did it with enthusiasm and determination," said Yusten. "A training environment that can foster such positive outcomes is always rewarding."

We started with makeup, which took about 30 minutes to prep for all of the injures that I would sustain during the drill. I was instructed to act as an unconscious patient with severe head trauma, so most of the drill I had to remain unconscious.

I think they did a pretty good job. As for emergency response, I felt like I could trust those involved to rescue me in any situation.

My favorite part was the rescue, because I could trust them to take care of me, or anyone else if that situation ever happened. They handled it in a way that made me feel like I would be taken care of quickly and wouldn't sustain any more injuries.