NAS Fallon Conducts HHOA Exercises |

NAS Fallon Conducts HHOA Exercises

MCS 1 Joseph R. Vincent
NAS Fallon Public Affairs
An explosive ordnance disposal robot moves to the scene as an MH-60S Seahawk, attached to the "Longhorns" of NAS Fallon's Search and Rescue lands during a Higher Headquarters Operational Assessment exercise on Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon.
MC1 Joseph R. Vincent / U.S. Navy photos | Digital

When the Higher Headquarters Operational Assessment (HHOA) team rolls into town, the inspection can be an intimidating thing, but because of NAS Fallon’s insistence on realistic training scenarios, Training Officer Chris Pierce said the inspectors were amazed with all the moving parts and the quality of the exercises run the week of May 18. According to Pierce, the inspectors said this was the best integrated exercise they have ever seen.

During the exercise, a vehicle-born improvised explosive device was simulated and tested the response of base and local resources with multiple simulated injuries and a simulated fatality.

“This was by far the most difficult full scale exercise and unit drill that I have ever been affiliated with,” said Pierce. “And not because of the complexity; with all of the assessors that accompany HHOA, it has become the one with the most focus.”

According to Integrated training team member, Quartermaster 1st Class Timothy Kidd, the participation of outside agencies was essential to the successful completion of the exercises.

“The Higher Headquarters assessors had great things to say, stating that our capability to integrate with non-military agencies was a tremendous asset to the readiness of not only NAS Fallon, but to the entire county and surrounding area,” said Kidd. “I hope that we continue to integrate our training with all these outside agencies.”

The exercise involved numerous on base personnel from the Federal Fire Department, Search and Rescue, Naval Security Forces, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Medical, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and other tenant commands with county resources from Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, Fallon Police Department, Care Flight, Banner Community Hospital, and Fallon and Churchill County emergency management.

“There are too many people to thank,” said Pierce. “There is no way to pull off an exercise of this magnitude without their support and input as subject matter experts.”

The exercise was the culmination of months of intense planning and focus, stated Kidd.

“No one outside of NAS Fallon knows how hard personnel have worked,” said Pierce. “Yet, with the completion of the exercises, all of the hard work and sacrifices that these personnel have given have finally paid off.”