SFS conducts active shooter exercise at base schools

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Harding
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 436th Security Forces Squadron, in conjunction with Dover Air Force Base Middle and George S. Welch Elementary Schools, held an active shooter exercise Oct. 11, 2019.

The purpose of the exercise was for staff and security forces Airmen to effectively deescalate a situation involving the apprehension of a suspect while keeping all faculty safe.

Staff Sgt. Jesse Johnson, 436 SFS standards and evaluation, said, “The main objective of this exercise is to instill a ‘run, fight and hide’ mentality in the event of an active shooter.”

With students out of school for the day, school staffers received a brief prior to the exercise to outline specific actions during an active shooter situation.

Once the exercise began, Airmen with simulated rifles and handguns entered the school to eliminate the threat and search for potential casualties and survivors.

“We went directly to the threat,” said Staff Sgt. Harold Snyder, 436th SFS flight sergeant. “The communication was excellent all around, which really helped us out.”

Teachers were in place during the time of the exercise, which created a higher-fidelity training environment.

“This is the first time I’ve done an active shooter exercise with teachers in it,” said Snyder. “Having the teachers around gave this a realistic feel.”

Following the exercise, Johnson praised the work of the 436 SFS response team.

“They went straight to their instincts,” said Johnson. “They had an excellent response time … Their ability to attack and approach the active shooter was pristine, and they pressed without hesitation.”