Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Condor Crest exercise tests 21 SW resiliency

By Robb Lingley

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Several exercises took place across the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, for Condor Crest, May 14 — 17, 2018. Condor Crest is conducted twice a year to keep Airmen alert for any situation.

During this exercise, many simulated scenarios were engaged. Airman performance was tested as they laid out water barriers, handled a car bomb in the dorms, engaged in an active shooter scenario and took action when a C-130 Hercules crashed near the flight line.

To start Condor Crest, Airmen placed water barriers around Peterson AFB to provide protection after a simulated intelligence threat of a suspicious vehicle at the U.S. Air Force Academy, May 14 was delivered. Only the north gate didn’t have water barriers due to protective devices already in place.

“In the interest of water conservation we made the call not to fill all the barriers,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Onder, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight superintendent. “We filled every fifth barrier to give us an estimate on how long it would take us to fill them.”

Onder said it would take 49,000 gallons of water to fill all 265 barriers, costing the 21 SW $225, or 83 cents per barrier.

The following morning, a simulated car bomb pulled up on the front lawn of building 1154 and detonated, caving in the front face of the unoccupied dorm.

“This exercise was designed for the 21 CES fire department to assess a structural fire and catastrophic damage to a facility,” said Onder.

Later, during the exercise, the 21st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight deployed its remote controlled robot to ensure the car bomb at the scene was free of additional explosives.

Wednesday, May 16, was the most active day of Condor Crest. The morning started with a simulated active shooter taking casualties and a hostage at the 21st Mission Support Group building. Colorado Springs Special Weapons and Tactics was called in to take the lead. They surrounded the active shooter on the second floor, with help from 21st Security Forces, and captured him after a standoff.

Later that night, in another exercise, a simulated bird strike caught the second engine of a C-130 Hercules while on approach, causing it to crash just off the Peterson AFB flight line. This resulted in 16 fatalities.

The exercise was coordinated by Craig Powell, 21 CES assistant chief for training; the 21 SW, the city of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Springs Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration, American Medical Response, the Cimarron Hills Fire Department, and the 302nd Airlift Wing.

The following morning, May 17, Condor Crest concluded with a search and recovery team forming at daybreak to search for human remains and C-130 parts. Airmen had to communicate with each other successfully while walking on the crash scene step by step. When anything was found it was bagged and tagged for removal from the scene.

Condor Crest exercise tests 21 SW resiliency
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