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Cheyenne Mountain exercises inside the mountain

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – First Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter, hides behind Staff Sgt. Timothy Buss, simulated hostage, while El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team breeches a mission center during a joint exercise, Oct. 22, 2015. The active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario was intended to evaluate the partnership between Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in a training environment in preparation for potential real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – First Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter, hides behind Staff Sgt. Timothy Buss, simulated hostage, while El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team breeches a 24/7/365 systems operations center during a joint exercise, Oct. 22, 2015. The active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario was intended to evaluate the partnership between Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in a training environment in preparation for potential real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Ahmad Buhari, simulated hostage, answers the phone for 1st Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter, during an exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. 721st Security Forces Squadron held a joint training exercise intended to bring together El Paso County Sheriff’s Department with Cheyenne Mountain AFS personnel in a training environment in preparation for potential real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Ahmad Buhari, simulated hostage, answers the phone for 1st Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter, during an exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. 721st Security Forces Squadron held a joint training exercise intended to bring together El Paso County Sheriff’s Department with Cheyenne Mountain AFS personnel in a training environment in preparation for potential real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – First Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter, roams the halls of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station underground complex leaving mock victims during an exercise, Oct. 22, 2015. Part of the exercise was intended to overwhelm the medical staff into a triage situation with simulated victims scattered along the complex’s hallways. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – First Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter, roams the halls of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station underground complex leaving mock victims during an exercise, Oct. 22, 2015. Part of the exercise was intended to overwhelm the medical staff into a triage situation with simulated victims scattered along the complex’s hallways. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Paul King, 21st Medical Group, simulates administering oxygen to Mark Onken, simulated victim, during an active-shooter exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. Part of the active-shooter exercise was intended to overwhelm the medical staff into a triage situation by scattering multiple simulated victims throughout the complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Paul King, 21st Medical Group, simulates administering oxygen to Mark Onken, simulated victim, during an active-shooter exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. Part of the active-shooter exercise was intended to overwhelm the medical staff into a triage situation by scattering multiple simulated victims throughout the complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – El Paso County Sheriff’s Swat Team monitors the outside of a mission center during an active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. The joint exercise was intended to evaluate the partnership between Cheyenne Mountain AFS personnel and El Paso County Sheriff’s office in a training environment in preparation for future potential real world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – El Paso County Sheriff’s Swat Team monitors the outside of a 24/7/365 systems operations center during an active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. The joint exercise was intended to evaluate the partnership between Cheyenne Mountain AFS personnel and El Paso County Sheriff’s office in a training environment in preparation for future potential real world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team assists the medical staff evacuating the simulated victims during an active-shooter exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. The exercise brought together the 721st Security Forces Squadron, 21st Medical Group, Cheyenne Mountain AFS Fire Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team for a joint exercise in preparation for potential real world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team assists the medical staff evacuating the simulated victims during an active-shooter exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. The exercise brought together the 721st Security Forces Squadron, 21st Medical Group, Cheyenne Mountain AFS Fire Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team for a joint exercise in preparation for potential real world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Deputy Chris Herman, El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, negotiates over the phone with 1st Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter turned hostage taker, during a joint exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. The exercise brought together the 721st Security Forces Squadron, 21st Medical Group, Cheyenne Mountain AFS Fire Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team for a joint exercise in preparation for potential real world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Deputy Chris Herman, El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, negotiates over the phone with 1st Lt. Miles Tran, simulated active shooter turned hostage taker, during a joint exercise in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex, Oct. 22, 2015. The exercise brought together the 721st Security Forces Squadron, 21st Medical Group, Cheyenne Mountain AFS Fire Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team for a joint exercise in preparation for potential real world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Devin Hopkins, 721st Security Forces Squadron, leads El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team into Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex during an exercise, Oct. 22, 2015.  The SWAT Team was called to respond to an active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario in the systems center to negotiate with the simulated hostage taker and help with simulated victim evacuation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault))

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Airman 1st Class Devin Hopkins, 721st Security Forces Squadron, leads El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team into Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station’s underground complex during an exercise, Oct. 22, 2015. The SWAT Team was called to respond to an active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario in the 24/7/365 system operations center to negotiate with the simulated hostage taker and help with simulated victim evacuation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team responds to an active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario in a mission center, Oct. 22, 2015. The exercise brought together the 721st Security Forces Squadron, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire Department, 21st Medical Group and El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team to work through the exercise inside the complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team responds to an active shooter turned hostage exercise scenario in a24/7/365 systems operations center, Oct. 22, 2015. The exercise brought together the 721st Security Forces Squadron, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire Department, Medical Aid Station and El Paso County Sheriff’s SWAT Team to work through the exercise inside the complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- Members from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station participated in an active shooter and hostage exercise along with El Paso County Sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics Team in a mission center inside the complex.

The exercise was meant to bring the 721st Security Forces Squadron, Fire Department, 21st Medical Group and El Paso County Sheriff's SWAT team together for joint training.

First Lt. Miles Tran, 721st Communication Squadron, acted as the active shooter who left simulated victims in the hallways intending to overwhelm the medical staff into a triage situation. He ended his "spree" in a mission center with two hostages.

Once security forces personnel learned of his hide out and the hostages, the incident commander called for the help of El Paso County Sheriff's SWAT Team.

For the team to experience response inside CMAFS in an exercise scenario will make real-world incidents that much more efficient, said Sergeant Robert Donels, El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

"It is pleasing to have a good working relationship with the military and we will strive to continue the support," he said.

Once in the complex, SWAT worked with the medical staff to evacuate the mock victims, security forces to negotiate with Tran, the active shooter turned hostage taker, and with the breeching team.

After failed negotiations with Tran, the SWAT Team decided to breech the room. The room was dark from simulating cutting off the power which also created a challenge to the team who never saw the inside of the room.

There were many moving parts during the short exercise but everyone did very well, said Master Sgt. Anthony Hunter, 721st SFS chief of training and exercises. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate the relationship with the El Paso County and identify any possible road blocks if one of the more secure centers in the complex became compromised.

The exercise is part of a response to Post-Chattanooga guidance from the Secretary of Defense. Following the tragic shooting of U.S. military personnel in Chattanooga, Tenn. on July 16, 2015, military installations are required to review procedures to address any security challenges for real-world situations.

The partnership between El Paso County Sheriff Department and CMAFS provides increased security for all CMAFS tenants including 721st Mission Support Group personnel and North American Aerospace Defense Command's Alternate Command Center.

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