SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Personnel and first responders from the 50th Space Wing showcased their readiness during exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3 Nov. 17 - 20. at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The purpose of OV 19-3 was to test and evaluate the base’s ability to respond to a large-scale natural disaster with potential to impact base power and affect multiple mission sets and fulfill bi-annual active shooter scenarios.
“OV 19-3 incorporated a new priority, testing our Space Mission Task Force operators’ abilities to maintain operations after an active shooter event has occurred,” said Capt. Benjamin Christ, 50th Space Wing Inspector General’s office commander's inspection program manager.
Tech. Sgt. Michael Jones, 50th SW IG wing exercise section chief, stressed exercises like these are paramount to assessing the base’s ability to respond to a variety of emergencies.
“By practicing and evaluating every component of the exercise, our team is able to have a better understanding of where our strengths and weaknesses lie and how we can better improve in the future,” he said.
Although this was the third exercise this year for Team Schriever, OV 19-3’s significance was due to a recent real world tornado watch. It was also the largest mass casualty event ever conducted on a space operations floor at Schriever AFB.
Christ said it is a humbling experience crafting base-wide exercises and to expands his knowledge as a space operations officer.
“Being in IG and working the exercises, I get to see the countless organizations across the base working together to handle emergency situations and protect the base and maintain our various mission sets,” he said. “This includes everything from backup power production, the activation of the security forces augmentee program to the establishment of a leadership-based crisis action team.”
With any test or trial there are always lessons learned and it is in those lessons where the base increases its readiness
“We will continue to learn, grow and evolve as we exercise a variety of situations that might affect our base,” Christ said. “Make sure you know your unit’s specific lockdown procedures, where to shelter in place as well as any other emergency specific policies and procedures your unit might have.”
The IG team is currently planning the next exercise slated for March 2020. The IG team advises units to current on the IG Exercise ground rules and all mandatory training requirements.