Edwards Air Force Base holds chemical agent simulation

The personnel of Edwards Air Force Base in California held a hazmat exercise on Tuesday to demonstrate their preparedness to handle a chemical incident to Air Force Materiel Command inspectors.

Desert Wind 13-03 was an exercise that simulated the spill of 300 gallons of trichlorobenzenes, a toxic chemical mixture, following a traffic accident. The simulation followed two exercises last week involving an earthquake scenario and increased force protection measures following a possible threat.

"This hazmat exercise is the third and final scenario required for the (consolidated unit inspection)," Frank Sporer, the acting installation exercise program manager, said. "The exercises last Friday demonstrated how the base responded to scenarios provided by the AFMC (Inspector General) inspectors; today, we are showing them how we conduct our own exercises."

The base's exercise evaluation team watched on as first responders from the 412th Security Forces Squadron, the 412th Medical Group and the Edwards Fire Department responded to the 911 call to assess the situation. Nearby workers conducted shelter-in-place procedures to protect them from potential contamination. Firefighters needed to determine the level of contamination before treating two simulated victims.

"We try to conduct each exercise as realistically as possible with all aspects of emergency management procedures," William O. Redick, a fire protection specialist and EET member, said. "The Exercise Evaluation Team observes how emergency personnel respond and how they conduct measures to save life, environment and property."

The base's personnel will find out their assessment during an out brief on the final day of the consolidated unit inspection on Tuesday.