Press Release: Vance partners with Enid first responders during active-shooter exercise

  • Published
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Vance Air Force Base personnel and Enid first responders will be conducting a joint exercise involving an active shooter in a school, Aug. 11, 2023.

The exercise, formally known as Scarlet Hawk 23-04, is scheduled to last from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The exercise will take place at Eisenhower Elementary School and the area immediately surrounding the school. Eisenhower is part of the Enid Public Schools district and is located on base.

Classes have not yet begun for the new school year so no students or teachers will be present in the elementary school during the exercise. Active-duty role players will help add realism to the training scenario.

During the exercise, access to the base will change from normal. The Hairston Gate, the main entrance off Southgate Road, will be closed to inbound and outbound traffic. The Baker Gate, on South Cleveland Street, will be open for inbound and outbound traffic.

Traffic barricades will be located in the Vance housing area to guide residents away from the school during the exercise.

Emergency response offices, both on and off base, have been notified of the exercise ahead of time, to help prevent unnecessary concern or response actions. Residences on or near the base housing area, who may hear noises or see activities of concern, are reminded this is just an exercise. It will not be necessary to notify 911 or the Security Forces operations center on base.

When the exercise begins Aug. 11, those on base will be placed in temporary lockdown. Travel will be restricted and congested. The Giant Voice speakers will make exercise announcements while emergency responders, both military and civilian, will be moving toward and around the elementary school. Extra safety awareness will be critical until the exercise ends.

 “An active shooter at a school is the worst-case scenario,” said Maj. Patrick Rourke, the director of the 71st Flying Training Wing Exercise/Inspection team. “Interacting with response personnel from other federal agencies and City of Enid first responders is critical to the readiness of all likely to be involved in an actual active-shooter situation.”