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Andersen completes Disease Containment Plan exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Powell
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
In the wake of the 9/11 and anthrax attacks against the United States, the military has ramped up its training to prevent these incidents from reoccurring. Last week, Team Andersen participated in an exercise to test that training and its ability to respond to an attack. 

In particular, the Disease Containment Plan Exercise tested Andersen's capability to detect and to respond to a biological attack. Additionally, by successfully completing the exercise, Andersen validated its own Disease Containment Plan, which was mandated by Maj. Gen. Edward Rice, Pacific Air Force's vice commander, in a May 2007 letter.
Now that the exercise has come and gone, Andersen officials are now looking at how well the base responded. 

"This is one of the most successful exercises we've had since I've been here," said Col. Walter Cayce, 36th Medical Group commander. "The medical group learned just as much as everyone else." 

To prove that, the Disease Containment Plan Exercise featured the first time that first responders were allowed in with the follow element to do their job from start to finish, said Tech. Sgt. Eric McClure 36th Civil Engineer Squadron's emergency management flight superintendent. "[It gave] the responders the training they need to accomplish their mission." 

Some people on the outside looking in may assume the Disease Containment Plan Exercise is a medical group specific exercise, but that's not the case as many units played a role in responding to the attack, according to the colonel. "This exercise got a remarkable amount of the wing involved," he said. 

In any exercise, lessons are learned and are implemented to better the unit as a whole, and Andersen found a few that will help it in the future. 

"The most important lessons learned from this exercise were to provide awareness to base personnel that such a threat could actually occur here on Andersen," said Master Sgt. Daniel Cline, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron's chief of training. [It also provided] valuable training working closely with different agencies to respond to and mitigate such an exercise."