Active-shooter exercise strengthens Team MacDill’s readiness, resiliency

  • Published
  • By Marvin Krause
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Team MacDill participated in an installation-wide active-shooter exercise here Jan. 23, 2019, to train and evaluate the base’s emergency response and preparedness.

According to Jeffrey Sickler, 6th Air Mobility Wing director of inspections, this type of training is necessary to increase awareness for everyone at Team MacDill.

“Conducting an active shooter exercise provides commanders with validation that training, checklists and appropriate actions are effectively executed if it were an actual event,” said Sickler. “The beginning of the year coincides with a large influx of retirees to the base so this exercise provides them the opportunity to participate, whether residing at the FamCamp or using any of the installation’s services.”

An active shooter is, according to Air Force definition, one or more subjects who participate in a shooting, random or systematic, with the intent to continuously harm others. The term active shooter also includes anyone who uses any other deadly weapon to systematically or randomly inflict death or great bodily harm on others.

To address an active shooter threat, commanders and leaders provide training to assist personnel in the development of the warrior mindset. Realistic training conditions personnel to fight through factors that may normally cause them to hesitate when faced with a threat.

“The focus of this exercise was on unit and facility lockdown procedures rather than first responders and to evaluate the wing’s lockdown and accountability procedures during and after an event,” said Sickler. “Also, the majority of our tenants and mission partners participated including U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Tinker Elementary School and Army & Air Force Exchange Service facilities.”

Active shooter incidents are incredibly dangerous and difficult because there is no criminal objective involved other than violence. According to Air Force guidance, during an active shooter incident, there are three response options: escape, barricade, and/or fight.

“This exercise allows personnel to take the appropriate actions they would during an active shooter event and identify any gaps in their training or processes,” said Sickler. “It serves as a reminder to always remain vigilant because these skills could prove to be life-saving for MacDill’s military and civilian populations including the military retirees residing in the surrounding communities.”

The need for everyone to possess a proper mindset is essential in protecting themselves and fellow members. The warrior mindset is more important than polished technique. When faced with an active shooter attack there are three possible actions to take: escape, barricade, and/or fight. Do not let anything get in the way of your survival!