Twentynine Palms -- The Combat Center conducted an Active Shooter Full Scale Exercise at Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital, May 16, 2017.
The exercise allowed for the naval hospital, Provost Marshals Office, Fire Department and Naval Criminal Investigative Service to practice and assess their ability to detect, identify and respond to an active shooter incident, validating emergency response procedures.
“We conduct an Active shooter exercise once a year,” said Michael Burns, force protection Supervisor, G-7, Mission Assurance. “This exercise gives us the ability to test how well each agency aboard the base is able to react to a mass casualty situation like an active shooter.”
The exercise consisted of a simulated active shooter storming through the hospital, firing multiple simulated weapons while hospital personnel exercised their run, hide, fight procedures, During this time members of the Provost Marshal’s Office entered and cleared the building until they found the active shooter. The officers used simulated weapons to neutralize the shooter and clear the rest of the building.
The exercise tested the capabilities of multiple installation entities including members of the Criminal Investigation Department and NCIS, who conducted a subsequent investigation of the notional crime scene, the Combat Center Fired Department, who treated and transported simulated casualties, and the Adult Medical Care Clinic, which exercised the a continuity of operations plan by providing an alternate location for simulated casualties to be triaged and treated.
Keith Johnson, emergency management specialist, Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms, said “we were able to handle the situation well and were able to practice our SOPs and ensure that we could handle internal situations if the main hospital would come under attack like in this situation.”
Additionally, Combat Center officials were able to exercise and evaluate standard operating procedures with local first responders.
“The exercise went well,” Burns said. “We were able to meet all of our training objectives and test all the different agencies’ SOPs. We found that some forms of our internal communications need to be practiced, however the different agencies did all they were supposed to do and worked well with each other.”