News: Joint Base recovery from unusual storm aided by training, teamwork and good leadership
Story by Joseph P Cirone
WASHINGTON – The effective efforts made soon after Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling experienced the effects of the unusual “derecho storm” during the weekend resulted from good training, teamwork and leadership.
Quickly after the devastating storm struck JBAB and the surrounding area, its response and recovery efforts kicked into high gear.
“We experienced widespread damage on the base,” JBAB commander, Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra, said.
Soon after the storm passed and safety concerns permitted, Air Force Col. Michael Saunders, JBAB vice commander, and Air Force Lt. Col. Allen Thibeaux, JBAB public works officer helped lead the weekend’s response and recovery efforts.
Members of the JBAB Public Works Department; Security Services Division; Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division and other JBAB team members used concepts honed and lessons learned from their participation in Exercise Citadel Gale, an annual Navy-wide hurricane preparedness training evolution, conducted in April.
“The value of training exercises and taking seriously the lessons learned cannot be overstated,” said Tim Trammell, JBAB’s training and readiness officer.
During the two-week long Exercise Citadel Gale, some of JBAB’s scenarios included hurricane winds knocking out power; heavy rain causing flooding in buildings, forcing their evacuation and personnel relocation; and roads being blocked by fallen trees. This weekend’s storms included power outages, heavy rain and roadways blocked by fallen trees.
“What you see this morning is nothing like what the base looked like Saturday morning. The response and recovery efforts enabled JBAB to be fully mission capable,” Calandra said.
Calandra called the response and recovery efforts outstanding. “Notwithstanding the wonderful efforts and the great leadership, there is still much more to do,” he said. “If you or your team is able to do any local clean-up of debris, it would speed up the recovery process,” Calandra told JBAB department heads while he asked them to assess their areas of responsibility to check for any hidden damage.
Calandra urged, “Please make it a point today to thank the Public Works and Security team, along with many members of the MWR team for the long hours they put in over the weekend and their outstanding effort to get the base up and running for today.”
He also expressed thanks for the cooperation of all JBAB residents and personnel, stating that their cooperation, patience and understanding during the natural disaster situation was just as important as the training, leadership and teamwork aspects. “We run this base as a team and that is how we recover,” he concluded.
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