Osan, Korean Emergency Services Train Together, Strengthen Commitment
By Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III
| 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 6, 2017
U.S. Air Force 51st Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters extinguish a simulated fire during a bilateral, mass-casualty, emergency-services exercise at Kookje College, Republic of Korea, Nov. 2, 2017. Osan Air Base provided four firefighters, an Oshkosh P33 Striker aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle, and an aircraft fire simulation trainer to enhance the realism of the exercise. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)
SEOJEONG, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services, and local Korean emergency medical services teamed up in a bilateral display of their response and rescue capabilities, Nov. 2, at Kookje College.
The mass-casualty exercise simulated a plane crashing into a dormitory followed by a hostage situation and large medical evacuation.
Osan’s Fire and Emergency Services maintain mutual aid agreements with the surrounding local fire departments to ensure the safety of the local population and personnel on and off base. These types of exercises ensure the readiness and inoperability of those protecting agencies.
“This exercise gives us a chance to interact with our Korean counterparts and helps us understand how they conduct their business,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Osada, 51st CES Fire and Emergency Services assistant chief of operations. “There are a lot of similarities between us, but it’s important for us to know what to expect between us during a real world emergency.”
Osan provided four firefighters, an Oshkosh P33 Striker aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle, and an aircraft fire simulation trainer to enhance the realism of the exercise.
“If a major event happens off base and the local firefighters call for us to help out, we’re going to send whatever resources we can without hurting the mission on base,” said Osada.
Although navigating the language barrier is difficult, working with the local emergency services around the base is an eye-opening experience for the Osan Airmen.
“This is something I’ve never done. It was a really exciting experience working with the Korean firefighters,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Derek Jones, 51st CES firefighter.
Overall, more than 100 personnel and over 25 vehicles and equipment including firetrucks, ambulances and helicopters from multiple local fire and emergency service agencies participated in the training simulation, working together and ensuring interoperability.