OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- On a frigid Osan afternoon, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) firefighters and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel converged on the flightline to get lifesaving helicopter extraction and familiarity training.
U.S. Army Maj. Laura Fryar and Capt. Rebecca Marshall, 4-2 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion operations officer and assistant operations officer, flew their AH-64 Apache helicopter from Camp Humphreys to Osan to provide base emergency services personnel with vital knowledge ensuring they can effectively and efficiently manage an emergency related to the aircraft.
“We do a lot of operations in and around Osan,” said Fryar. “So, it is important that if we need to utilize the base as an emergency recovery airfield for us that the fire department and EOD understand the capabilities and limitations of the aircraft.
“One of the biggest factors during an emergency is time,” she continued. “So, if they are unsure how to approach the aircraft, or if they do something that is inherently dangerous, then we’ll have to spend more time trying to save the situation versus getting the pilots out safely and making sure that everybody is away from the aircraft.”
After a less-than five minute flight from Camp Humphreys, the helo was on display for Osan’s EOD and firefighter personnel to get hands-on interaction with the aircraft and life-saving knowledge directly from the pilots.
“Hands-on training is very important, and having the pilots there was beneficial,” said Senior Airman Jonathan Martinez, 51st CES firefighter. “We were able to directly ask them specific questions relating to approach angles, emergency shutdown procedures, pilot extraction, how to handle hung munitions and chaff and flares, and any other safety information we need to know.”
More than 25 EOD and firefighter personnel were able to take part in the familiarization training.