RAF Odiham personnel put through paces in training exercise

Basingstoke Gazette: Personnel from RAF Odiham and the Military Accident Investigation Branch (MilAAIB) simulating an aircraft accident in Aldershot Personnel from RAF Odiham and the Military Accident Investigation Branch (MilAAIB) simulating an aircraft accident in Aldershot

A LYNX military helicopter simulated a crash as part of a multi-agency practice exercise that saw personnel from RAF Odiham and other emergency services put through their paces.

Military and emergency services personnel from RAF Odiham and Hampshire took part in the major simulated incident at Aldershot Training Area.

The exercise was set up to practise the actions both sides would take in the event of an aircraft accident off base.

In accordance with Military Aviation Authority regulations, RAF Odiham is required to conduct a live scenario every two years in order to practice and exercise its major incident plan.

The station has responsibility for Aircraft Post Crash Management for any military aircraft in an area covering Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Isle of White and the Channel Islands.

More than 80 people were involved in providing the initial response to the crash, guarding the simulated wreckage, attending to casualties and preserving the scene for evidence.

Military agencies including the Military Aircraft Accident Investigation Board and the Joint Aircraft Recovery and Transportation Squadron were also involved.

Superintendent Paul Brooks, Hampshire Constabulary police silver commander for the event, said: “These multi-agency exercises are crucial in allowing us to test our co-ordination and command protocols alongside the military to ensure an effective response to incidents of this nature.”

Wing Commander Colin Sullivan, chief of staff RAF Odiham, who acted as the incident commander, said: “Within minutes of the simulated emergency being called, the Command headquarters at RAF Odiham was flooded with personnel from across the civil emergency services and environmental agencies.

“It was extremely heartening to witness the speed at which both civilian and military personnel came together to provide a very effective, efficient and speedy response to this simulated incident.”

He added: “As with any exercise, we all learned valuable lessons, but it was reassuring to see how well the team performed and that nothing was fundamentally broken. I have complete confidence that in the unlikely event of a real aircraft crash, RAF Odiham and the civil emergency services would bring the incident to a swift conclusion.”

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