181st IW bolsters partnerships during emergency management training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dianne Pirog
  • 181st Intelligence Wing

HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. (Mar. 6, 2022) — Airmen assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing participated in an exercise with local, civilian agencies at Human Field Air National Guard Base March 5.

The exercise, dubbed HUF 24, allowed members from the 181st Intelligence Wing to work in conjunction with Vigo County Emergency Management’s Local Emergency Planning Committee, or LEPC, Terre Haute Regional Airport, and Ivy Tech Community College Nursing program to train on potential, real-world events.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to put together an exercise it’s a good thing,” said Jeff Fisher, the Terre Haute Regional Airport fire chief. “We all do things a little differently, so to come together to learn how each agency works prepares us for real-world situations.”

During this exercise, a simulated plane crashed during an airshow. Numerous, simulated victims were scattered throughout the area. First responders from all agencies worked together to triage each patient.

“This is an experience that our students cannot get in the classroom or even during clinicals,” said Melissa McCoy, an Ivy Tech associate professor and nursing faculty member. “This behind-the-scenes training has given my students skills for disaster preparedness as well as hands-on training like back-boarding and C-collar training that we normally don’t get to participate in.”

As military members, 181st IW Airmen are ready at a moment’s notice. To have the opportunity to conduct exercises like HUF 24 furthers the 181st IW’s readiness to respond to calls for aid as part of the National Guard’s domestic response mission.

“We are very much a practice-as-you-play type of unit,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Mathis, a search and extraction medic with the 181st IW. “We go into all exercises as if we are activated and go in with the mindset as if this is actually happening.

Indeed, training at the 181st IW’s home base adds a greater sense of reality to exercises.

“One of the beneficial parts of this simulation is it’s a very real possibility for us being next to the airport,” said Mathis.

By engaging in joint exercises with its civil authority partners, the 181st IW continues to build a positive and trusting relationship with local, civilian agencies as well as continuing to ensure the readiness of its Airmen.