Fire Department, EPG, Boeing rehearse spacecraft emergency landing
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Department of Emergency Services firefighters participate in emergency landing training for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft module March 4 at Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fire Department, EPG, Boeing rehearse spacecraft emergency landing
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Department of Emergency Services firefighters participate in emergency landing training for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft module March 4 at Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fire Department, EPG, Boeing rehearse spacecraft emergency landing
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground personnel and Fort Huachuca Department of Emergency Services firefighters participate in emergency landing rehearsals for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner March 1 at Willcox Playa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fire Department, EPG, Boeing rehearse spacecraft emergency landing
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground personnel and Fort Huachuca Department of Emergency Services firefighters participate in emergency landing rehearsals for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner March 1 at Willcox Playa, Arizona. (Photo Credit: (U.S. Army photo by Karen Sampson)) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. –Department of Emergency Services firefighters and U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground personnel participated in emergency landing rehearsals for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft March 1-2 at the Willcox Playa.

“We have a current agreement with Boeing to support their nominal landings of the CST-100 Starliner,” said Assistant Chief Chris Perry from the installation Fire Department.

Three mock landings were rehearsed in crawl, walk and run phases at Willcox Playa allowing Boeing research personnel to connect with first responders from Army and community partners to gauge the landing and recovery scenario in the dry lake environment.

According to Boeing, the CST-100 Starliner is a next-generation space capsule built to take people and cargo to and from low-Earth orbit.

In a collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the Starliner was designed to accommodate seven passengers, or a mix of crew and cargo. For NASA missions to the International Space Station, it will carry a mix of four NASA or international partner astronauts with room for a fifth paying passenger.

“We [Boeing personnel] are here for a training and integration opportunity to practice recovering our Starliner spacecraft for a possible landing at Willcox Playa,” said Jeffrey Davis, recovery leader from Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. “It is the first time we are working with Cochise County and Fort Huachuca personnel.”

A convoy of response crews is staged outside the 4 to 5-kilometer landing zone for safety, he said.

Crews will approach the module, get measurements for ground-cooling within 30 minutes, and remove the astronauts within one hour, Davis explained.

“Where Fort Huachuca Fire Department plugs in is, we support the decontamination operation with an apparatus, and we also support with a crash truck in case we need to assist the recovery team in case of a mishap,” Perry said

Fort Huachuca Fire Department will also provide ambulatory support if necessary.

It is not cost-effective to keep Boeing’s emergency personnel in this location, said Mike Fawcett, a senior engineer with Boeing’s special aerospace services.

In addition to the Willcox Playa rehearsals, Boeing brought their team of engineers and emergency personnel to Fire Station 3 for on-site recovery training.

“Once our spacecraft gets into routine missions, we will deliver astronauts to the space station every six months,” Fawcett said. “When there are too few hours for Boeing emergency responders to react, Fort Huachuca firefighters and county responders will know how to assist.”

The classroom training provided firefighters with more detail about the spacecraft. The visit also allowed firefighters to rehearse their part of the recovery using special equipment and a mock space module.

“As Boeing described in the training, an emergency landing could be caused by a medical emergency with one of the crew members or an incident with the International Space Station itself,” Perry said.

Local responders will know how to approach the spacecraft, get the hatch open, extricate the crew, and provide medical or casualty evacuation if necessary, Fawcett explained.

Furthermore, Fawcett said responders would know how to protect the spacecraft from environmental damage until retrieved.

The CST-100 Starliner is built to be used for multiple missions over several years, making preservation of the module critical.

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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command, and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, critical components to the national defense mission.

Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.

We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/