Sailors, deputies, firefighters train together in mock crash
September 22, 2009 · 3:57 PM
A group of unsuspecting administrative, maintenance and aircrew personnel got some hands-on training last weekend in a series of unannounced, mock crash scenarios at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.
Six unknowing aircrew with Patrol Squadron 69 tested their survival and response preparedness in Crescent Harbor during a simulated airplane crash with the help of Navy survival instructors and divers from the Aviation Survival Training Center, the Island County Sheriff’s marine safety unit and North Whidbey Fire and Rescue marine rescue crew.
The two marine units provided transport and safety observation while training in open water recovery techniques.
Meanwhile, at Ault Field, a mock aircraft crash site was set up at the Fire Training School. VP-69 maintenance personnel witnessed an actual live fire training session with NAS Whidbey Fire and Rescue Teams, led by Battalion Chief Sean Merrill.
The exercise continued back inside the VP-69 hangar as sailors performed essential communication, administrative and investigation functions required for real-life mishaps.
“Operations and Training are fairly transparent because we see results everyday in our flight schedule and crew training plan; our Safety posture is more difficult to assess,” said Cmdr. James Nelson, VP-69 commanding officer. “The detailed exercise provided essential hands-on training for administrative, maintenance and aircrew personnel.”