Culdrose holds crash management exercise
Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been running a simulated ‘post crash management exercise’ in the coastal area of Porthkerris Point, near St Keverne on the Lizard peninsular.
For a 24 hour period the rugged cliff area of Porthkerris Point was the scene of a simulated crash of two Royal Navy Hawk jets from 736 Naval Air Squadron flying out of Royal Naval Air Squadron Culdrose. The joint exercise tested the post-crash management skills and techniques of both military and civil agencies in the South West of the country.
The scenario involved two Hawks aircraft that had suffered a mid-air collision in theSouthCoastexercise areas off the coast ofCornwall. Two pilots had ejected from one of the stricken aircraft that then crashed in the vicinity of Porthkerris Point. The second Hawk recovered back to Culdrose but then crashed on landing.
“The purpose of this exercise was to test and practice the emergency response and post crash management phases to an aircraft incident,” said Lieutenant Commander Tony Hills, Operations Officer for RNAS Culdrose. “We’ve had the benefit of simulating a very realistic event both here at Porthkerris and back at Culdrose and have gained great benefit working with all the agencies who would be involved for real”.
Involved in the exercise have been Devon & Cornwall Police, Cornwall Fire Service, HM Coastguards fromFalmouth, RAF Mountain Rescue Services fromRAFValleyand Emergency Services from RNAS Culdrose. In addition personnel from Culdrose have provided essential support to those deployed onto the ground and throughout the exercise an Incident Control room has been manned to meet the needs of an ever changing realistic scenario.
The Exercise was divided into two distinct phases:
Phase 1: Emergency Response led by the Culdrose Fire Department at the Air Station and byDevon and Cornwall Police at Porthkerris. Police retained tactical control of the Porthkerris site until all casualties had been removed and scene-of-incident investigations have been completed. During this phase, the Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) fromRAFValley conducted a capability demonstration to the Emergency Response teams assembled at Porthkerris.
Phase 2: Post Crash Management led by The Ministry of Defence Investigation team who took time ensuring they adhered to correct and safe procedures.
Executive Officer, Commander John Lea, was responsible for the coordination of agencies including Fire, Police and other Emergency and Post Crash organisations and said: “We’ve had a very realistic and relevant exercise during this period. We consider this interaction vital in the community and we will continue to train and test our relationships and procedures. Overall it’s been beneficial to everyone involved and I thank everyone in the local community for their support and valued feedback”.