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CMAFS conducts casualty exercise

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Emergency services personnel here responded to a simulated bicycle versus car accident during an exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Emergency services personnel here responded to a simulated bicycle versus car accident during an exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Emergency responders here aid a simulated accident victim during a response exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Emergency responders here aid a simulated accident victim during a response exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – An Emergency responder here aids a simulated accident victim during a response exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – An Emergency responder here aids a simulated accident victim during a response exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Emergency responders here aid a simulated accident victim during a response exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Emergency responders here aid a simulated accident victim during a response exercise Sept. 17, 2015. The scenario included a bicyclist hit by a car and going over the edge of the mountain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robb Lingley)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A cyclist pedaling on NORAD Road was struck by a vehicle coming around a sharp downhill bend and thrown over the guardrail into a nearly 20-foot-deep ditch Sept. 17. 721st Security Forces, 721st Fire Department, Fort Carson police and Emergency Medical Services, along with the El Paso Count Sherriff's Office responded.

Fortunately this tragedy was only a drill as part of Condor Crest exercises targeting real-world scenarios to hone preparedness skills and readiness of base personnel. The exercise simulation was selected because it mirrors a real concern for the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station security team: Hikers, bicyclists and other pedestrians illegally using the road leading to the facility.

"We did it outside the gate because that is a real concern for us. The road is federal property all the way to the bottom at Highway 115. Bicycles and hikers are not allowed for safety and security purposes," said Steve Rose, deputy director, 721st Mission Support Group.

During the exercise the cyclist simulated being struck by a vehicle negotiating a blind corner at high speed, Rose said, sending him over the rail and down a substantial distance into a ditch. The situation required the 721st Fire Department to perform a high angle rescue, something they train for on a regular basis due to the predominant terrain surrounding the air station.

In order to rescue the victim the emergency team had to don climbing gear, rappel down into the ditch, stabilize him on a board then transport him up to the road using ropes to handle the job, said Rose.

Holding the exercise outside of the gate also allowed 721st emergency personnel to work with other area emergency teams. Rose said it is an intentional exercise taking advantage of agreements for joint support in emergency situations.

"We have good mutual aid agreements with the community and neighboring military bases so we like to exercise those," he said.

NORAD Road is certainly a scenic draw for bicyclists and pedestrians, but because of the likelihood of a real event like the one in the scenario the road is off limits for other than vehicle traffic.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui