Pearl Harbor Exercise Assesses Navy, Air Force Joint Efforts
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) - Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Emergency Management organized a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) exercise, Nov. 9.
The purpose of the exercise is to assess the ability of JBPHH, Navy Health Clinic Hawaii, Federal Fire Department, 647th Air Base Group, 15th Medical Group and the 15th Airlift Wing to respond to multiple explosive chemical dispersal devices aboard the installation.
Dan DuBois, JBPHH emergency management officer (EMO), said this exercise was one in a series of scenario-driven integrated exercise between Navy and Air Force units aboard JBPHH.
"Within the Emergency Operations Center we are working on the common operating picture piece," DuBois said. "One of the challenges we are working on is the cultural difference between the legacy systems of the Air Force and Navy. This exercise is another step in the process to meld those systems together in an effort to become more efficient as a joint base."
One of the objectives of the exercise is to train the members of the EOC Incident Management Team, as they coordinate information and instructions to JBPHH security forces, firefighters and emergency medical teams.
"Our job basically is to support the Incident Commander (IC)," DuBois said. "The incident commander is the person who is out there in the field, whether he's a firefighter, or a security officer. The IC is the one who is actively engaged in response or rescue operations. They're the ones who are working to solve the problem. The whole point is to work together as a team, to pool together and provide the IC with needed support and the joint base commander information to help him make decisions to recover the installation from the event."
The exercise played out two simulated scenarios simultaneously, including a vehicle-borne improvised explosive devise at the Air Force side of the installation and an improvised explosive device at one of the piers on the Navy side. Both scenarios also simulated a chemical dispersal after the explosion.
DuBois said these types of scenarios play a big part in training military personnel.
"Unfortunately, there are dedicated groups of people who want to do really bad things to the citizens of the United States," DuBois said. "There is a potential to become complacent here in Hawaii, because we are out in the middle of the Pacific, and we don't have a lot of radical population. There's always a possibility. We have to train for those possibilities."
The JBPHH Emergency Management team schedules at least four major emergency/disaster exercises yearly, including an anti-terrorism exercise, a hurricane exercise and an earthquake exercise. The team supports activities that provide for the preparedness, mitigation response and recovery from the impact of natural, accidental or civil threats to Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam and its surrounding community.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.