148th Fighter Wing Participates in Full-Scale Airport Disaster Exercise

  • Published
  • By Audra Flanagan
  • 148th Fighter Wing

First responders from the 148th Fighter Wing and 25 partnering agencies, including FAA Air Traffic Control, local police and fire departments, the St. Louis Country Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Response Team, participated in a full-scale Triennial exercise at the Duluth International Airport on June 2, 2022.

The exercise simulated an aircraft striking a piece of large construction equipment upon landing on the runway. As a result of the simulated collision, the aircraft broken in two pieces. First responders conducted fire protection, tended to mass casualties and responded to a criminal act during the complex exercise scenario.  Patients were transported from the scene by ambulance or civilian life flight services. 

The exercise, planned by the Duluth Airport and multiple Emergency Management partners focused on command and control, rescue, evacuation and treatment.  148th Fighter Wing Fire Chief, Dan Lysher said “today’s exercise was valuable because it allowed us to work alongside our community partners which is vital for effective interoperability.”

The exercise featured an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting mobile training unit. The mobile training unit provides realistic training that enhances fire fighter knowledge in preparation for aircraft hazards, aircraft incident response and disaster planning. 

Full-scale exercises like these allow diverse agencies to practice communication, react and respond in a safe and controlled way, preparing responders in the event an actual aircraft emergency.

The 148th Fighter Wing is an F-16 equipped Air National Guard Wing located in Duluth, Minnesota.   The 148th Fighter Wing Fire Department provides fire and rescue services to the Duluth Air National Guard Base, Duluth International Airport and all civilian airfield tenants.  Through a local Mutual Aid Agreement, the 148th Fire Department responded to 152 fire calls including 68 mutual aid calls last year.