21OCT2013: Active shooter exercises prepare Academy Airmen, cadets for potential threats


(USAFA) – For the thousands of cadets, personnel and senior leaders who participate in the active shooter exercises at the Academy, the training goes far beyond satisfying a military requirement.

Paul Ceciliani, an Academy antiterrorism program officer, said the program’s active shooter education and procedures help prepare the base populous for a potential threat, enhance partnerships with off-base responders and increase people’s awareness levels and personal safety whether they’re on or off the installation.

“The response options we exercise (to evacuate, lockdown or take action) you can take anywhere,” he said. “Whether you’re at a movie theater or in a shopping mall, these responses could make a difference when it comes to saving your life or the lives of others in an active shooter situation.”

The last base-wide active shooter exercise here occurred April 4 and included El Paso County Sheriff’s Office crisis negotiators who communicated with the barricaded shooter in the scenario.

“Over 10,000 people here went into lockdown,” Ceciliani said. “We also wanted to exercise our off-base response capability – making sure off-base responders understood where to go and how they integrate into our emergency plans.”

Ceciliani said once people reach a safe location during a lockdown, whether during an exercise or actual crisis, people should call 911 immediately.

“We want people to call as soon as possible to get a police response in motion and to alert the base that something potentially bad is happening,” he said. “We want police to be able to quickly take out a shooter and allow medical responders to treat victims as soon as possible.”

Read More: http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123367611

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