JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gun shots rang out as Staff Sgt. Michael
Klausing, a Security Forces (SF) member acting as an active shooter
walked the halls of the 125th Fighter Wing (125FW) at Jacksonville
Airport. This was the first of a series of active shooter scenarios
that the 125FW plans on conducting to evaluate and reinforce
training for real world events.
U.S. Air Force members of the 125th Fighter Wing conduct an active shooter exercise in the wing building in Jacksonville, Fla., on June 7, 2014. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Veuril McDavid)
"This was the small piece of the pie in the big picture
of things" said Capt. Derrick Burks, the Anti-terrorism
Officer for the wing. "It's going to get bigger".
8:30 a.m. Klausing exited a bathroom in the headquarters
building of the 125FW, firing a training M16 rifle with
blank rounds through the halls. Laura Yates, the director of
the Family and Readiness Center whose office was across from
the initial firing quickly locked her door and hid behind
her desk. From there she called the base 911, which reported
the incident to the SF squadron and other on-base emergency
"It really kind of hit
home for me, more than I expected it to," Yates said.
The event lasted four minutes, and ended when SF Tech.
Sgt. Andrew Pelton and SF Staff Sgt. Tony Camacho engaged
the shooter and neutralized the simulated threat.
make the experience more realistic, fake blood was placed on
designated individuals to simulate three dead (one being the
shooter) and seven injured in the event. Wing Inspection
Team (WIT) members monitored the event and analyzed how
individuals responded with the scenario. Their findings will
be used to modify future training and prepare for possible
While medical members rushed to the scene
to help with the wounded and deceased, command leadership
and the public affairs department dealt with media and
simulated family member inquiries on the incident. They must
follow proper protocols as if this event had really
happened, including holding a press conference where
simulated media question the commander.
"I think the
Wing took this seriously... and that behavior is contagious"
said Burks, who put the event together.
civilian agencies, such as law enforcement and Emergency
Medical Services aided the 125FW and used the opportunity to
train their own personnel. Their participation in the event
further added to the realism and authenticity of the
The scenario went as planned and
demonstrated how quickly such incidents can occur. The 125
FW has been trying new approaches to mandatory training,
with the goal to reinforce information and conduct
assessments by making exercises and training events as
interactive and real as possible.
incidents occur, the natural "fight or flight" response
kicks in. Instilling the correct actions is important to
minimalize casualties. Through training like this, service
members are better equipped to react correctly during a real
"You make good decisions, you make
bad decisions but the worst decision is no decision... we
forced people to make decisions in a very timely manner,
simulating if their life was on the line. I think the
benefits to that type of exercise are absolutely priceless,"
By U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Troy Anderson
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