KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — It can happen at any time, without warning — just like a terrorist attack.
Euro Flash, a commandwide force-protection exercise in U.S. Air Forces in Europe, is a no-notice drill meant to keep airmen ready to respond to terrorist attacks or intelligence of such an attack.
So far, the command has had two Euro Flash exercises, one in April and one late last month, said Capt. Eric Waterworth, the exercise boss and a member of USAFE’s Inspector General Support Division.
“We want to develop the force-protection skills of all USAFE members at their home bases. These same skills also can be used at deployed locations,” Waterworth said.
Waterworth, who helps develop Euro Flash scenarios, didn’t want to disclose the specifics of the exercises. But he said security force troops, fire departments and medical personnel are usually involved because they’re the first-responders in an emergency.
In some cases, nearly every department on every base could be called upon to react.
Lt. Col. John Quattrone, commander of the 31st Security Forces Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, said the exercises so far have been fairly realistic.
“It definitely tests the element of surprise at the tactical level,” Quattrone said. The multibase exercise also helps troops determine if a similar threat exists at another installation.
“You’re getting a bigger picture of what’s happening commandwide,” Quattrone said. Inspector teams fan out to each USAFE base to evaluate how well troops perform.
“They’ve gone very well,” Waterworth said. “We’re learning lots of good lessons. Every base is learning from the other ones.”
Only the scenario gurus know when the next Euro Flash will pop up. And Waterworth, for one, isn’t talking.