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."