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The surveillance of a simulated downed aircraft plays in the Emergency Operations Center during a Mass Casualty Exercise on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., April 7, 2016. The exercise was designed to simulate the response if an emergency were to occur. Annually, the air station is required to have exercises to ensure protocol and safety standards are met for potential emergencies. On years the biannual air show occurs, the training revolves around scenarios specific to that kind of event. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Jason Jimenez

Cherry Point exercises safety in prep for air show

19 Apr 2016 | Cpl. Jason Jimenez Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point conducted a large-scale exercise that simulated responses to multiple emergency scenarios here, April 7.

The Mass Casualty Exercise was held primarily to test first responders, operational personnel and security procedures  in preparation for the upcoming 2016 Cherry Point Air Show. Similar exercises are required annually ensure protocol and safety standards are met. On years the biannual air show occurs, the training revolves around specific scenarios relative to an air show.

“Prior to an air show, we conduct several exercises to test the response to various kinds of potential emergencies,” said Mike Barton, the public affairs director for the air station. “The point is to identify any issues that need to be corrected before the actual event.”

Our personnel conduct these exercises to enhance our preparedness and give the public the best possible show and keep them safe at the same time, explained Barton.

Role players were used to create more realistic scenarios found in a typical air show setting.

“We have good resources and preventative measures,” said Grant DeHaven, the mission assurance program manager for Cherry Point. “In the very low likelihood something like that would occur, we have to validate emergency response actions.”

“With every airshow comes improvements and during the exercise, everyone remained calm, kept everything smooth and maintained communication throughout the duration,” said DeHaven.

“Overall, the exercise went very well,” explained Barton. “Cherry Point has hosted the air show for many years and we have many professionals who have worked these problems before and have built upon the lessons learned from the previous exercises to incorporate them into standard operating procedures.”


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