NAS Trains with Mock Disaster

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

As part of a disaster training drill Wednesday, a military jet went down near Joe Williams Field in Kemper County. Both U.S. Navy pilots ejected, and for a period of time, one of them could not be found.

The training simulation is conducted twice a year by personnel on board Naval Air Station Meridian.

"The Navy, as a part of the Meridian community, is really prepared to assist," said Chris Steinnecker of NAS Meridian's training and readiness department. "Today it's internal. We're practicing within the fence line. But we're also practicing to assist with any problems they might have in town."

The training is required and observed by Navy Region Southeast, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., and includes Navy bases from Dallas, Tex., to Key West, Fla.

The pilot who was missing briefly had broken legs. He also had brain injuries that prevented him from calling for help, to make the simulation that much more challenging.

"We're trying to work together. Communicate and integrate are the key words," said Steinnecker.

This exercise is done twice a year. There are two other exercises, including one dealing with hurricane evacuation, that are also done twice a year.

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