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Team Schriever test readiness in Opinicus Visa 19-3

Photo of ambulance and other emergency vehicles ready, on stand-by during base-wide readiness exercise.

Schriever Fire Department and emergency response teams respond to an active-shooter exercise during Opinicus Vista 19-3 outside of Building 400 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 20, 2019. Base-wide exercises help Airmen maintain their readiness and stay prepared for any crisis situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Members of the 50th Security Forces Squadron team line up in a diamond formation behind a crisis response shield during an active-shooter exercise on Schriever Air Force Base.

Members of the 50th Security Forces Squadron form a tactical “diamond formation” in response to a simulated active-shooter exercise during Opinicus Vista 19-3 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 20, 2019. Exercises give base personnel an opportunity to practice crisis response and remain prepared for real-world events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Kevin Mayorga, (left), Schriever Air Force Base paramedic, monitors his simulated patient in an ambulance transport during exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3, Nov. 19, 2019.

Kevin Mayorga, (left), Schriever Air Force Base paramedic, monitors his simulated patient in an ambulance transport during exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3, Nov. 19, 2019. OV 19-3 is a base-wide exercise designed to evaluate and train base members as they respond to various emergency incidents. The 50th Space Wing Inspector General’s office created a tornado scenario with simulated casualties and required from support local emergency medical crews. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

Col. Brian Kehl, 50th Mission Support Group commander, coordinates with various agencies during emergency operations in exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2019.

Col. Brian Kehl, (center) 50th Mission Support Group commander, coordinates with various agencies during emergency operations in exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2019. The 50th Space Wing Inspector General's office created a tornado scenario to evaluate the installation’s emergency response during a severe weather event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert).

Members of the 50th Space Wing execute tornado warning emergency procedures during exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3 in Building 300 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2019.

Members of the 50th Space Wing execute tornado warning emergency procedures during exercise Opinicus Vista 19-3 in Building 300 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 19, 2019. The 50th SW Inspector General's office is responsible for creating exercises like these on behalf of the wing commander to evaluate the base’s emergency response in preparation for any threat or weather event that may affect the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

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.