This week, the Naval Air Station in Fort Worth launched an annual training exercise. It’s designed to make sure the joint reserve base is ready to respond to security threats. The opening day began with a staged attack.
The drama begins with recorded gunshots. In this scenario, a gunman enters a building and opens fire. Military police armed with fake rifles cordon off the scene, evacuate the building and move in to stop the shooter. After that, medics treat the wounded, who are strewn through hallways covered in fake blood.
The wounds aren’t real – they’re paint and wax. Marcia Marshall is in charge of moulage, which is a fancy word for fake blood and guts in these kinds of simulations. She shows off her handiwork on one victim’s face.
“We simulated a bullet going possibly through his mouth and out his jaw, so that the white is his teeth that are exposed and the frayed part is like his skin torn off of his face,” says Marshall, a civilian whose day job is in base headquarters.
Capt. Mike Steffen is the commanding officer for the base. He says this simulation isn’t in response to any particular threat.
“Hope is not a course of action, and so what we want to do is train as much as we can to be ready for when it does happen,” Steffen says.
The base is home to 10,000 military and civilian workers. They’ll spend the next two weeks training to respond to a variety of real world threats.