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    Pax River Emergency Services Test Inter-Agency Operations with Aircraft Mishap Drill

    Pax River Emergency Services Test Inter-Agency Operations with Aircraft Mishap Drill

    Photo By 94th Airlift Wing | SAINT INIGOES, Maryland (May 16, 2023) – District Fire Chief Clifford Montgomery...... read more read more



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon 

    Naval Air Station Patuxent River

    An aircraft mishap is a worst-case scenario that no crew, in the air or on the ground, wants to respond to. But keeping skills sharp in the event of such an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. It was with that in mind that NAS Patuxent River Emergency Services held an integrated drill focused on aircraft mishap response at Webster Outlying Field May 16.

    The drill scenario centered around an in-air emergency that continued on the ground.

    “The purpose of this drill was to test Security and Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency Services, Search and Rescue, and the Command Duty Officer's abilities to respond to a simulated MV-22 aircraft going down due to a bird strike, resulting in fire and injury to pilots and crew,” said NAS Patuxent River Installation Training Officer Matt Nalley. “The simulated scenario played out where the MV-22 would be in the pattern for approach and will experience a bird strike resulting in damage to the windshield and air-intake of both engines. The aircraft then continues the pattern for landing, while calling ‘mayday, mayday,’ before making a hard landing resulting in a post-crash fire and injuries among the crew.”

    To ensure as realistic a scenario as possible, Naval District Washington Firefighters at NAS Patuxent River employed a unique training device – the Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Trainer (MAFT). The MAFT is an aircraft mockup that can produce smoke and fire throughout its structure to train firefighters specifically on aircraft fighting skills.

    “The MAFT is a unique piece of equipment that is invaluable to the training of our fire teams, especially here at Pax River,” said District Fire Chief Clifford Montgomery III, Naval District Washington Fire Department - NAS Patuxent River. “Fighting aircraft fires requires special skills due to the heat and volatility specific to aircraft, their fuel, and other factors. Having the ability to train like we fight means that we can better respond should such a fire occur. And a better response means a better chance of saving lives.”

    Other emergency services participated in the drill, responding as they would in the event of a real-world aircraft mishap. Joining NAS Patuxent River was the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, and Maryland State Police helicopter crew from Trooper 7.

    “The inter-agency work we do with our community partners allows us to save lives throughout Southern Maryland,” added Montgomery. “And that’s a two-way street. Just like our NDW firefighters and Search and Rescue crews help outside the fenceline, so do local firefighters and police should we have an emergency on base. This drill honed their skills as well as ours, and helped us better understand how to work together if a real emergency occurs.”

    The aircraft mishap drill was a multifaceted event, involving aircraft firefighting, rescue of injured personnel from a burning aircraft, and emergency treatment of injured personnel.

    “It was pretty inspiring to see everyone spring into action,” said Nalley. “When you watch the team during a training scenario like this, it’s clear they take it very seriously. No one acts like it’s ‘just a drill,’ because that doesn’t do anyone any good. These teams really embody the spirit of ‘amateurs train until they get it right, professionals train until they can’t get it wrong,’ and we saw a bunch of professionals today.”

    For more information on Pax River, visit Facebook at , and Twitter at .



    Date Taken: 06.01.2023
    Date Posted: 06.01.2023 12:12
    Story ID: 445977
    Location: ST. INIGOES SHORES, MD, US 

    Web Views: 174
    Downloads: 1