121 ARW holds active shooter training exercise April 15

  • Published
  • By Airman Ashley Williams
  • 121st Air Refueling Wing
Airmen from the 121st Air Refueling Wing here, participated in a base-wide training exercise April 15 here.

The training exercise involved an active shooter scenario, to test the reactions of the military members and the response time of Security Forces.

"Active shooter is our biggest threat here at the 121st," said 2nd Lt. Sherri Weaver, the director of inspections with the 121st Inspector General's Office. "In addition to that, it is an annual requirement for the IG."

The active shooter impersonator, Senior Master Sgt. Richard Gay, superintendent with the 121st IG Office, started the exercise with Finance personnel on the third floor of building 887 and worked his way down, covering each floor.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, in most cases using a firearm, with no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

"The thing with an active shooter is you can never predict what they're going to do," said Master Sgt. Charles Ferrell, non-commissioned officer in charge of plans and programs with the 121st Security Forces Squadron. "Their tactics and techniques are always going to change; therefore, our reaction always has to change. With every case we can learn something. We get to the incident as fast and as efficiently as we can, with as many personnel as we can and we combat the force head on."

Security forces personnel showed up to the scene with a short response time. They neutralized the shooter on the first floor and swept the building for any casualties.

"We are geared towards mission readiness," said Weaver. "We will be doing more of these exercises again because we want the people's response to be more efficient and effective in what could be a real world situation one day and we want the base to be prepared for that."

Active shooters can be anyone from terrorists to members of extremist groups or even a disgruntled employee.

Common indicators of potential violence include depression or withdrawal, repeated violations of company policies, talk of severe financial problems and talk of previous incidents of violence or even explosive outbursts of anger or rage.

In the event of a real active shooter situation, run first, if you can, to the nearest evacuation point. If that is not an option, lock all doors, block all entryways and remain silent while hiding. Take action and fight back only as a last resort.