Vance teams with local police, fire departments during annual exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christopher Ornelas Jr.
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Team Vance partnered with the Enid Fire and Enid Police Departments for a training exercise at Enid Woodring Regional Airport, June 8.

The exercise simulated a plane hijacking, followed by an aircraft accident. The exercise, Scarlet Hawk 23-03, is part of an annual training requirement at Vance Air Force Base. 

“We simulated that someone who was disgruntled, took the jet, but then felt bad and tried to land it at Woodring,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Burns, the inspector general at the 3rd Flying Training Squadron. “We gave the downtown agencies some familiarity and training with our aircraft that are operating out there every day.”

For the exercise, a Vance instructor pilot flew a T-6A Texan II to Woodring for the Enid first responders to have hands-on training for an aircraft crash. The Enid agencies were able to work with Vance security forces and firefighters.

“It was a very good experience to work with Vance personnel,” said William Burkhart, an assistant fire chief at the Enid Fire Department. “They were very informative and had a lot of knowledge on different aircraft and response techniques.’

“We rely on Enid Fire and Enid Police for the main response because it is their airfield,” said Burns. “We as a military are not legally allowed to just auto respond. We do not have the normal communication channels at Woodring that we would have if this was an on-base incident,” said Burns. “The exercise helped us create better communications with downtown responders.”

“The more we can practice on these aircraft, the better it will be for our confidence, knowledge and insight into what is needed to mitigate these situations,” said Burkhart. “I feel like the shift that was on duty picked up a lot of knowledge and would feel more ready in case of a military aircraft incident.”