German first emergency responders participate in “Howling Wolf” exercise May 18 at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria – Hohenfels. (Courtesy Photo)


HOHENFELS, Germany — U.S.Army Garrison Bavaria – Hohenfels Community conducted a mass casualty exercise, “Howling Wolf,” here, May 18 to test the staff’s ability to handle and train side-by-side with Host Nation emergency responders.


This exercise, which included 450 host nation emergency responders and U.S. Army planners, focused on the Host Nation’s ability to respond to any emergency at the training area.


“Today’s exercise was a community-wide exercise in which we participated with our community partners,” said Martin Birkhahn, Hohenfels assistant fire chief. “We do these exercises in order to maintain the readiness of our staff and the host nation emergency responders so we are able to respond and react to any all-hazard emergency.”


The exercise’s scenarios mirrored real-life events, including a helicopter crash, a traffic accident, a building on fire and one person tumbling into a rainwater collection tank. All of the scenarios presented the participants with opportunities to respond to mass injuries and casualties.


“What we learned today is that no matter how well you think your plan is written, there is always room for improvement,” Birkhahn said. “We do it to improve our processes and procedures by discovering things that were ineffective or that we never anticipated. The result is that these types of exercises provide critical training opportunities for our staff, community partners and enhances our readiness and ability to effectively respond.”