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News > Preparations ramp up for possible autumn ORI
auto extraction scenario
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – During the last Base Readiness Exercise in April, first responders respond to an auto extraction scenario at the corner of Randolph Road and Tinker Loop. Another BRE is scheduled next week to help base personnel prepare for a possible Operational Readiness Inspection in the fall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
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Preparations ramp up for possible autumn ORI

Posted 6/9/2011   Updated 6/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Chuck Paone
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

6/9/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Base officials are ramping up preparations for an anticipated Operational Readiness Inspection that will likely occur this fall.

"AFMC has indicated that Hanscom is on track for an ORI in that general timeframe," said Lt. Col. Scott Pierce, the Hanscom ORI Preparation Team leader. However, in the current 'Limited Notice' environment, it's hard to predict the exact timing with certainty.
"Unlike in the past, where bases received at least 180 days or even longer notice, we're now only likely to be given 45 days advance notice," he said.

Air Force instructions call for an ORI to be scheduled four years, and no later than five years, from the previous ORI at a base. With Hanscom's most recent ORI having occurred in June 2007, the base is now in an ORI "window," which means an inspection will almost certainly be conducted sometime between now and next June.

A robust schedule of base readiness exercises, including one to be held next week, has been designed to help base personnel prepare for the ORI, but also to help them prepare for their real-world responsibilities.

"We're doing all of this preparation so that we're ready to do whatever we need to do, whether in a deployed environment or right here at Hanscom," Colonel Pierce said. "We want the inspectors, whenever they come, to see that we're ready, but we're not preparing exclusively for that reason."

Nevertheless, it is important that everyone begin thinking about a possible inspection and about what they need to do.

"Just as is the case in real-world scenarios, it's critical that everyone has the information and training they need to respond appropriately during the ORI," Colonel Pierce said. "This isn't just about testing deployers or first responders, but about gauging the overall ability of base personnel to act and react to everyday events and special circumstances."

Graded components of the ORI include deployment processing, which also takes into account all of the pre-deployment preparation such as medical readiness and proper packing of deployment bags. It will also look at the ability of deployers to survive and operate in a deployed environment. And it tests, through various exercise scenarios, the ability of base personnel to respond to various emergencies, including active shooters, hazardous materials spills, aircraft crashes and even natural disasters.

The ORI will likely also examine - perhaps through exercise scenarios but more likely by reviewing actual, ongoing efforts - acquisition managers' ability to provide quick reaction capabilities to warfighters.

"The common denominator in all of this is command and control," Colonel Pierce said. "We need to demonstrate how effectively we can get information out to, and pull information from, people as incidents and taskings arise."

Solid, timely information exchange is critical for success, he said. So is training and preparation.

Base readiness exercises are a key component of that. An extensive one is scheduled for next week. Following that, additional BREs will be held Aug. 15 through 19 and Sept. 12 through 16.

In addition to the readiness exercises, special refresher training sessions are being set up to help critical players refresh the information and hone the skills they'll need to succeed. The June 10 Self-aid and Buddy Care (SABC) and weapons familiarization training sessions in the Tennis Bubble offer a prime example. The ALDS training site also offers CBRNE Defense Awareness, M-9 Pistol Familiarization, M-16A1 Familiarization and SABC computer-based training modules.

Other opportunities, including the possibility of some competitive events such as the ORI Olympics used in the run-up to the '07 ORI, are also being planned.

For Hanscom members who are neither actively involved in emergency management or deployment preparation, there are still a number of steps they can take, said Pat Sabine, deputy Inspector General. A couple of key ones:

· Know lockdown procedures: Everyone should know the location of the building safe room, notification procedures for their unit, what to do if outside their building and how to react to FPCON changes.

· All Hanscom employees should complete HAFB Active Shooter Training on CenterNet to learn how to react to various scenarios, including sheltering in a facility, without a gunman present, sheltering from a gunman in the facility, and evacuation procedures.

· Be aware of notification venues: Giant voice is only one element. Hanscom also uses the computer-based At-Hoc System, desk top alerts and Group and Unit Control Center reporting procedures. A fact sheet for using At-Hoc is located here.

Still, Colonel Pierce said that, for most people, it's not so much about formal training. "We just want people to be aware of their surroundings, stay current in their training and exercise at the appropriate level of frequency to where all of this becomes second nature."

He suggests personnel ask themselves some basic questions: "Do you know where your rally point is in case of a building evacuation? Do you know who to report to and how during a recall? These are the things that will make all the difference - not just during the ORI but, more importantly, during real-world scenarios."

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