Fort Bliss soldiers train for aircraft crash

"Time the most precious resource"

FORT BLISS, Texas - Fort Bliss prepares for the worst with a special training exercise Friday morning.

The scenario is a graduation ceremony at Fort Bliss gone wrong. A helicopter involved in the ceremony crashes and several soldiers are injured and one dies, in this hypothetical situation.

Fort Bliss leaders says timing is critical for these types of situations.

Captain Clayton Melton helped organize the training. He says in this scenario the helicopter had engine trouble. He says crashes are rare but when they do happen most likely it's because of engine failures. He says soldiers must be prepared to deal with a triage situation and quickly try and save who they can.

CPT Melton says communication between the police and fire department is vital.

"They will be responsible for putting out the fire, packaging casualties, keeping track of casualties," said Melton.

In this simulation, Melton says the soldiers were thrown into a situation where one soldier was killed and six others were wounded.

Melton says overall, the way the soldiers responded Friday was good. He says there is always room for improvement. During the exercise the response time was under 15 minutes, he says their goal is to get that down to five minutes.

"Doing things like this has prepared us for the unfortunate event that an accident like this were to occur," said CPT Melton.

Melton says the soldiers are being evaluated for their response, which they will learn in a review next week.


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