Andersen Air Force Base personnel conducted an antiterrorism/force protection exercise dubbed Sling Stone 21-1 with its Joint Region Marianas partners to strengthen the base’s ability to respond to security threats Nov. 5.
The purpose of the exercise was to ensure members of the 36th Wing were prepared to respond to real-world disturbances and actively use preventative measures to deter any potential security threats.
“Sling Stone gives Team Andersen, Naval Base Guam and other JRM installations a valuable opportunity to all work together when faced with a common threat scenario,” said Lt. Col. Richard Marby, 36th Wing inspector general. “In order to be successful, the various JRM installations must communicate to share intelligence and threat assessments, and must coordinate a unified response.”
Members of the installation’s Wing Inspection Team, or WIT, held a series of simulated events throughout the day with the objective of seeing how first responders and individual units identify and respond to spontaneous high-risk scenarios.
Among the simulated events are scenarios testing the base’s response times to security breaches, internal and external attacks, and managing high-traffic areas in times of emergency. During the event, Airmen of 36th Security Forces Squadron played integral roles testing their ability to properly prevent hostile individuals from breaching security.
“Training and evaluating these skills are extremely valuable to make sure we are ready for anything, anytime, anywhere,” said Maj. Thomas Kellams, 36th SFS commander. “Security forces train year-round and we validate that training by conducting exercises at the squadron through wing-level exercises.”
Simulated events like these are not only intended to evaluate our capabilities, but to also identify effective practices which extend beyond written instructions and could be shared and implemented across the installation.
In addition to testing first responders, WIT members test Andersen AFB members’ responses to security threats in their workplaces.
“Units constantly train on their particular niche, but large exercises like Sling Stone are great opportunities to practice and evaluate teamwork between units,” Marby said. “Security forces, civil engineering fire department, emergency management and medical group personnel all work together to protect the base, while the CAT (Crisis Action Team), EOC (Emergency Operation Center), and command post serve vital command and control functions that ensure a swift, coordinated and effective response.”
Installation health protection conditions are enforced during the exercise, ensuring scenarios and responses are developed around condition guidance.
“As changes occur,” Kellams said, “we incorporate different procedures to overcome those changes and conduct exercises as a way to validate and assess our capabilities.”
“The American people rely on us to perform our mission,” Marby said. “This exercise proves to our allies and adversaries that Team Andersen remains ready to defend the base and perform our mission, even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
At the conclusion of the exercise, members of the WIT team and IG office gathered together as part of the threat working group to make recommendations to the 36th Wing commander on actions to take in order to improve the base’s response processes in the future.