By Pvt. Kim Bumjoon (Daegu)September 11, 2017
USAG Daegu, South Korea -- A police patrol member becomes unconscious in the vehicle while on duty. His battle buddy quickly dons a pro mask to him and tries to evacuate the site. Other people outside are down, staggering around, coughing and finally passing out. Fortunately, this situation was not a real crisis. It was a scenario from Area IV Annual Full Scale Exercise. United States Army Garrison Daegu conducted its 2017 Full Scale Exercise, August 29-31, at Camp Henry.
"The Full Scale Exercise is a great opportunity for our team to stress their capabilities and operate in a multi-functional environment with different agencies," said Michael P. Diehl, USAG Daegu Fire & Emergency Services Fire Chief.
Full Scale Exercise is aimed to test installation readiness and response to natural disasters and other incidents. It is designed as close to the real thing as possible to train the garrison staff on critical skills required to manage responses when the actual crisis happen.
"The importance of the Full Scale Exercise is three-fold," said William C. Butcher, USAG Daegu deputy to the garrison commander. "First, it helps to test the emergency management capability of the garrison and first responder staff. Second, the FSE challenges the Garrison staff to solve complex problems and deal with emergencies. Lastly, exercising our capabilities should provide a level of comfort to the community that in a time of an actual crisis, we can handle it."
This exercise was a 3-day exercise comprised of two crisis scenarios that might happen in the garrison. First scenario was Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack. Assuming that unknown chemical event happened at Camp Henry Theater, the garrison rehearsed CBRN disaster response detection and decontamination. Training objectives focused on validating the garrison's ability to execute specified Installation Management Command Emergency Management Exercise capabilities and assessing the ability of first responders to execute on-site incident management, hazardous materials and items operations, emergency triage and pre-hospital treatment, mass care and fatality management.
"My job was to basically block off the scene that nobody get in or out of the scene without my authority," said Pfc. Heaven Mclaurin, 188th Military Police Company.
"I've never done anything like this. This is one of my first training experiences and I actually enjoyed it. I would like to do something similar again. I wasn't expecting to do everything I did today but I tried to respond as quickly and intelligently as I could."
Other scenario was explosive threat. Assuming that a suspicious package was found near a building in Camp Henry, the building was evacuated and emergency responders came to the scene and investigate. Garrison was tested on their capabilities to coordinate, communicate and evacuate at-risk population safely. In addition, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was validated on their procedures and equipment for bomb removal.
"Our team was able to capture the areas that we excelled in as well as those areas where can improve to ensure we are offering the best service to our community," said Diehl. "Any opportunity that we can take to improve and stress our capabilities we are happy to participate in. I am very proud of how well our team performed during the exercise."