By Staff Sgt. Heather A. Denby, 35th ADA Public AffairsFebruary 12, 2015
During basic training, Soldiers learn the importance of handling their weapon and what could happen if it is dropped.
But what happens if your weapon is a 2-ton live missile?
Soldiers of Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery at Kunsan Air Base were put to the test Wednesday when the battery air and missile defense tactician sprung a surprise training exercise during routine reload operations.
"Stop!" said Chief Warrant Officer Jessica Willis. "Your missile container has fallen off the forklift and there is a missile protruding out of the canister."
With more than half of the crew new to the Army and air defense, the crew chief Sgt. Stephanie Hume took charge.
"I put myself in the mindset that this could be real," she said. "So it was a little chaotic at first, but we made sure that the site was evacuated and our headquarters was notified."
The command team notified base headquarters, security forces, the fire department and explosive ordnance technicians were also called to the scene.
"This kind of incident would pose an extreme threat to the safety of everyone in the area," said Air Force Master Sgt. Jeremy Phillips, EOD team leader. "It's a skill set that is, honestly, not exercised that much so having the opportunity to come out and assess how we would respond to this situation is very helpful."
"We're big fans of the 'what if' type situations because God forbid this day comes, we'll know exactly how to respond," said Phillips.
Soldiers and airmen discussed the framework of how they would work together to ensure the safety of their community given a potential missile drop.
"It's the first time we've implemented this scenario into our training here at Kunsan," said Willis. "It would definitely be a team effort and that's something we look forward to building on in the future."
With safety and team work in mind, the Soldiers of Kunsan continue their mission.
"Guarding the sky…it's what we do," said Willis.
"It's what we've trained for and I know we're prepared," she said.