Sailors Train for the Unexpected
NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan – Entering Naval Air Facility Atsugi’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) on June 12 would find the new comer walking in on Sailors playing a Jeopardy like game. The game is an entertaining training tool that is used for the Sailors to review the past two day’s information during the EOC Incident Management Team (IMT) training course.
The IMT course included lessons about the functions of an Incident Command System and operation response, to include how to respond to disasters and coordinate resources and logistics. The three days of training was broken into two parts, with the morning spent learning the basics, rules and primary use of the EOC and the afternoon going through a practical exercise to reinforce the knowledge learned earlier in the day.
“The first two days we use an earthquake scenario,” said Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Shore Operations Training Group Chief Michael Crockett. “During the final exercise we are going to be conducting an Anti-Terrorism, Force Protection related scenario.”
Crockett said the point of the exercises is to flex the teams’ abilities to bring order out of chaos generated by injects and through the use of his team’s roleplaying skills in a separate room called a white cell.
NAF Atsugi’s Emergency Management Officer David Puckett said that the training teaches Sailors how to provide support to the Incident Commander and they are provided the tools to be able to use their individual skill sets and effectively work together as a team to solve complex problems that the installation could face.
“Our hope is that at two in the morning should a natural disaster or an incident occur here at NAF Atsugi, that the command will have a deep enough bench,” said Crockett. “That whoever shows up at two in the morning will be able to fill in as needed in any section here in the EOC and do a good job for this command.”
The course, provided by CNIC is only conducted here once every three years, so every participant is encouraged and expected to help train their fellow team members so that everyone is prepared. “We try to do C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) training once a month, with an EOC exercise once a quarter,” said Puckett. Crockett said those who are unable to attend the training can do online training with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“[The online training] gives everyone the standard foundation and terminology across the entire enterprise so that we are speaking the same FEMA language that a local fire house back home is speaking,” said Crockett.
EOC watch standers have to complete the FEMA Independent Studies 100, 200, 700 and 800 series, which are a prerequisite for the three day course.
“We do these trainings to ensure that we are ready for any contingency,” said Puckett. “The public should be comfortable that team Atsugi is well prepared to handle and face any emergencies we should have and that we’ll overcome it as a team.”