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Condor Crest: 21st SW practices preparedness

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –Staff Sgt. Torkelson, 21st Security Force Squadron defense operations center controller, and Staff Sgt. Adam Whitney, 21st SFS patrolman, conduct a sweep of building 350 during an active-shooter scenario at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Nov. 1, 2016. This was just one scenario which was played out during Condor Crest, a wing-wide exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –Staff Sgt. Torkelson, 21st Security Force Squadron defense operations center controller, and Staff Sgt. Adam Whitney, 21st SFS patrolman, conduct a sweep of building 350 during an active-shooter scenario at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Nov. 1, 2016. This was just one scenario which was played out during Condor Crest, a wing-wide exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Firefighters from the Peterson Air Force Base Fire Department stabilize a simulated victim’s neck during a driving under the influence car accident scenario for the Condor Crest exercise at Peterson AFB., Colo., Nov. 1, 2016. The firefighters had to cut the car door open with the Jaws of Life in order to reach the victim. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Firefighters from the Peterson Air Force Base Fire Department stabilize a simulated victim’s neck during a driving under the influence car accident scenario for the Condor Crest exercise at Peterson AFB., Colo., Nov. 1, 2016. The firefighters had to cut the car door open with the Jaws of Life in order to reach the victim. (U.S. Air Force photo by Philip Carter)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Firefighters from the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire Department attend to a simulated smoke inhalation victim during a fire scenario for the Condor Crest exercise at CMAFS, Colo., Nov. 1, 2016. This was just one scenario which was played out during the wing-wide exercise. (Courtesy photo)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. – Firefighters from the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Fire Department attend to a simulated smoke inhalation victim during a fire scenario for the Condor Crest exercise at CMAFS, Colo., Nov. 1, 2016. This was just one scenario which was played out during the wing-wide exercise. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Simulated gun fire rang out while “exercise, exercise, exercise” bellowed throughout the hallways as the Condor Crest Exercise kicked-off for the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and geographically separated units, Oct. 31- Nov. 4.

Coordinated by the 21st SW Inspector General, Condor Crest is a biannual exercise that assesses the readiness and vulnerability of people who work for the 21st SW. There were a variety of scheduled, simulated events that tested Airmen on how they reacted to these scenarios.

“The units on base included the 21st Security Forces, 21st Fire Department, 21st Force Support Squadron, a lot of the organizations from Mission Support Group and the 21st Medical Group,” said Master Sgt. Terry Lewis, the 21st SW/IG superintendent. “We all came together to put on the exercise. It’s no one-man show.”

Geographically separated units from all across the wing were also involved in this exercise, including units at Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts; Beale AFB, California; Clear AFS, Alaska; Eglin AFB, Florida; Cavalier AFS, North Dakota; Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colorado; and the Space and Missile Systems Center, California.

Here at Peterson, the exercise started at building 350 with an active-shooter scenario. Day two was a driving under the influence related car crash and snow storm scenarios, and day three was a confined space entry-and-rescue.

The wing practiced many different scenarios during this week-long exercise, which included bomb threats, shelter in place, hazardous weather events such as tornados and blizzards, suspicious package, car accident, and much more.

Air Force Instructions give organizations guidance on what they should be capable of during daily operations. Condor Crest allows leadership to evaluate any constraints or limitations that may arise in a real-world emergency and shows commanders their unit’s capabilities.

“You don’t actually know your capabilities until you test them,” said Lewis. “It helps the commanders with risk management of its units and what they are capable of.”

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