Shared mission unites agencies

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  • 301st Fighter WIng Public Affairs

The 301st Fighter Wing recently participated in a Major Accident Response Exercise (MARE) at Tarrant County College (TCC) Northwest Campus, Fort Worth, Texas, in collaboration with other military units from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and local response agencies.

Col. Trina Hood, 301 FW Mission Support Group Commander and military on-scene commander for the exercise, explained why the MARE was important.

“The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate interoperable communication of military response assets with local civilian response agencies and establish a unified command at the incident site,” she said. “My personal goal was to learn as much as I could from the Incident Commander and increase my knowledge of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).”

Mr. Jose Guajardo, 301 FW chief of emergency management and lead planner in the development of the MARE, described what it took to coordinate the event.

The exercise took about six months of planning with coordination with different agencies, both military and civilian, to include the city of Fort Worth, John Peter Smith Hospital, Medstar, TCC, multiple 301 FW units, and other base personnel, he said. Disasters can happen on and around military installations where civilian and military boundaries cross. It is imperative for civilian and military personnel to work together during these incidents and the best way to learn is through exercises.

In the months leading up to the event, there were multiple meetings to familiarize and understand how each unit and civilian agency operates.

“It’s important because it allows our members to receive training in the emergency response incidents that can happen at any point and time. It allows us to coordinate with our civilian agencies and not meet them for the first time when we actually have an event,” said Guajardo.

Coordinating exercises like this helps the wing accomplish its mission – to train and deploy combat-ready Airmen.

“We do the MARE to make sure we are ready for any real world events or accidents that may happen locally. It is our duty to be prepared and be ready when something happens,” said Col. Mitch Hanson, 301 FW commander. “I’m proud of what our men and women do every day to stay prepared. The more we can exercise effectively, the better prepared we will be.”

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