Capt Luis Rivas
Photos by Luis Rivas
Twenty three members of Group 2 participated in a Basic SAREX exercise with a scenario designed to practice, refresh and renew emergency services ratings. The clubhouse at Buchanan Field in
was the incident command post for the
|Lt Col Suter Delivering the Morning Briefing
The trainees included an Incident Commander, aircrew, ground teams and base staff searching for an “overdue aircraft” that departed Gnoss Airfield in
Novato enroute to .
A practice beacon, simulating the aircraft ELT, was placed at a location
unknown to the trainees, with the mission of locating and deactivating it. Los Banos Municipal Airport
|Aircrew Flight Planning
|Maj Brown Preflighting the C172
The newest Group 2 aircraft, a Cessna 172 with a modern glass cockpit, supported two Urban Direction Finding (UDF) teams in the search.
|Communications Team C/SSGT Patil, Maj Gadd
The aircraft began searching from the point of departure of the overdue aircraft, and detected the beacon over San Ramon, significantly narrowing down the search area.
|UDF Team briefing
The UDF teams were dispatched from Buchanan Field and directed to conduct ramp searches at the Livermore, Oakland, Hayward and Reid-Hillview airports.
Utilizing clues generated by the aircraft, the UDF teams, working together, tracked down the practice beacon to a location near Lake Del Valle. The beacon was hidden beneath a tree near a plywood silhouette made to represent a downed a downed aircraft from the air.
|UDF Team finds overdue aircraft
|SM Wilson finds ELT
Lt Col Suter was the Incident Commander trainee, and he was quoted as saying “This exercise was a great training opportunity, particularly adjusting the mission to cope with constantly changing challenges. Overall a small but successful SAREX." His mentor Lt Col Deford remarked "We had a very educational exercise both in its successes and lessons learned."