Ramstein Airmen, in concert with German disaster response authorities, participated in a combined major accident response exercise, or MARE, Oct. 18 on Ramstein.
“This exercise has been a partnership effort between our host nation and the installation,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, 86th Airlift Wing commander. “My vision for this event was to come together with our local German responders and perform seamlessly and effectively during a simulated on-base accident, and I am very pleased with the outcome.”
The exercise tested German and U.S. first responders’ ability to react to a massive on-base accident, from initial notification to the recovery phase. The MARE was an opportunity to train and rehearse roles and responsibilities in a crisis between Ramstein Airmen and their German partners.
“Our German counterparts from the Kaiserslautern area brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the scenario,” said Col. Lee Smith, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander. “Together we used our skills to test our interoperability and coordination during a crisis, and I am very pleased with the results.”
This was the first time Team Ramstein members and German authorities conducted a response and recovery in about two years, with the last one held at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
The exercise went very well, including the communication and cooperation between American and German first responders, said Gudrun Heß-Schmidt, Kaiserslautern deputy county commissioner. This exercise gave German disaster respondents a better understanding of Ramstein procedures to better carry out a rescue and recovery plan.
The training and inspection portion of the exercise was used to ensure both agencies are able to respond
safely together and improve existing procedures should a real incident occur.
“This exercise was outstanding,” said Lt. Col. Paul Silas, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron commander and emergency operations center director for the exercise. “We responded and identified everything thrown at us — we were able to handle what came our way because of the proactive thinking of our Airmen and German partners here.”