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Air Force preparing for hurricane season with Exercise Swamp Devil

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 11:40 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - As hurricane season approaches the Air Force wants to make sure they're ready to jump in and help civilians out.

Wednesday afternoon, the sound of a drill alarm caused more than 70 airmen to spring into action.

"So with this being the start of hurricane season we want to make sure our folks are ready to at a moment's notice," Chief Master Sergeant Steve Dirksen said.

"Right now, we have an exercise fire in the technical operations center," Margaret Verica, a technical sergeant said. "So, they immediately evacuated the area. When they evacuating the area Captin Duffey was struck by the fire and he has third-degree burns."

For the next few days, the airmen will participate in Exercise Swamp Devil, getting them ready for whatever might come their way.

"The biggest scenario is a COVID op scenario," Verica said. "This is a brand new pandemic that nobody has experienced before."

The biggest test will come when the airmen practice their response to a category four hurricane.

"So, in this case, we are responding to a host nation who requested our help," Major Stephanie Bukowski said.

The group needs to know to load and unload vital equipment and do it in a safe manner for everyone.

The last day for training is this Friday, and by the end of Exercise Swamp Devil, more than 50 percent of these airmen will be certified and ready hurricane season.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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