WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii – U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii conducted its annual full-scale exercise July 26-28, which included participation from various U.S. Army Hawaii units, the City & County of Honolulu, the Navy’s Federal Fire Department and Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki.
This year’s exercise focused on multiple scenarios, which measured the garrison's ability to properly handle different emergency situations.
The scenarios for the exercise included an aircraft crash and hazardous materials clean up on Wheeler Army Airfield, reports of an armed suspect on Schofield Barracks, and a gate runner and possible vehicle-borne improvised explosive device on East Range.
Each scenario targeted the readiness of various emergency responder teams including military police, medical, explosive ordnance disposal, and traffic control.
"Emergency preparedness and the protection of our Soldiers, civilians, and their families is a critical task for the garrison and our partners across the installation, said Col. Dan Misigoy, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii. “The full-scale exercise provided our team of teams an opportunity to fully execute multiple response plans with all the resources required."
Installation Management Command sent a team of external observer/controllers to assess the garrison’s emergency management response and procedures.
"One of the main goals of any exercise is validating our emergency preparedness plans are executable," said Jay Price, one of the garrison’s emergency plans officers and co-lead for the full-scale exercise. "Full-scale exercises give us the chance to test our procedures and capabilities, and having external evaluators helps determine which emergency plans can be sustained, and which ones need improvements.”
Price is confidant first responders and other personnel would be able to respond properly with the knowledge and assurance of having trained on those scenarios.
“This year’s exercise was a great success,” Price said. “Every time we conduct an exercise, whether it’s a monthly emergency preparedness exercise or the annual full-scale exercise, we get a little bit better.”
Misigoy said the real value of the exercise is to be able to practice with all the different elements working together as one team.
"We train and rehearse different elements of our emergency response plans on a monthly basis,” Misigoy said. “This exercise brought those elements together. What we learned will inform our training and preparedness in the future."