MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Fire rose above the trees and sirens rang across the field from fire trucks, police vehicles and ambulances starting the 2018 Annual Air Show Emergency Management Exercise, Aug 29.
Lt. Col. Bradley Brough, the 35th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander, said security forces, medical and fire personnel with the U. S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Central Aviation Bureau agencies responded to about 35 American and Japanese personnel who simulated various injuries that occurred after a fake explosion.
“This exercise lets us test the installation’s ability to quickly and efficiently respond to any incident,” said Master Sgt. Valene Jaquez, a 35th Fighter Wing inspections planner. “We do this exercise because it is an annual requirement, and it helps us validate the plans, processes or procedures we have in place to make sure they are effective.”
The exercise tested first responders’ reactions to a mock-improvised explosive device and simulated an airplane crash while demonstrating their joint capabilities, ensuring safety and security for the upcoming air show on Sept. 9.
The 2018 Misawa Air Festival will highlight more than 15 different airframes and planners expect more than 100,000 spectators from across Japan.
“EMEs are important because they enable us to be ready if an incident occurs as well as allow us to work with our host nation partners to ensure we are able to save as many lives as possible,” explained Brough.
Jaquez also noted that in addition to the Air Force and JASDF, this year they trained with the Central Aviation Bureau from the Misawa Airport Office, who brought medical response capabilities to the scene.
“This is our first time training with the Japan Air Lines, which makes this exercise a lot different than any of the others,” said Jaquez. “Any time you can bring in your JASDF counterparts and local agencies together to participate in an exercise, it's a success, and everybody wins.”