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407th ECES builds joint firefighting foundation during airfield exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Firefighters from the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron participated in an airfield exercise at Ahmed al-Jaber Air Base, Kuwait, Aug. 16.

The exercise was an opportunity for service members from multiple branches to cooperate on one of the most intense scenarios a firefighter could be called for: an aircraft on fire on the flightline.

“We had a simulated MV-22 (Osprey) engine fire,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Casey Madigan, Marine Wing Support Detachment 473rd Expeditionary fire and rescue. “We arrived on scene, the crash truck put out the fire in the engine. Our rescue crew brought out five casualties and we provided them [simulated] medical care.”

Emergency service vehicles arrived on-scene and simulated putting out the fire in the Osprey, then provided immediate medical care to the victims. Firefighters and medical personnel included Airmen, Marines and Sailors.

“Working with all branches in the military gets us familiar with protocol procedures that everybody does with our actions and how we handle things on-scene,” Madigan said. “It really helps with real-world scenarios.”

Accurately recreating this realism required equipment, aircraft and vehicular support that the fire station provided.

“We use all our crash vehicles like a video game,” said Tech Sgt. Aaron Alcaraz, 407th ECES fire station captain, deployed from the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing. “They have joysticks we use to physically fight the fire before transitioning to exterior operations with traditional handlines and fire hoses.”

Alcarez summed up the results, saying all members benefited from the exercise.

“People come from all different parts of the country,” Alcaraz said. “We have to take all of them and bring them into one cohesive fire department, and the only way to do that is to train like we did today.”