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Fort Sill hosts mass casualty exercise

FORT SILL, Okla._Fort Sill conducted its annual mass casualty exercise on post Wednesday.

The exercise staged a car bomb outside Sheridan Theater that was blown up less than an hour before a basic training graduation was supposed to take place. Ten people were killed and many others wounded.

The Fort Sill Fire Department arrived first on the scene to find the truck and pieces of it scattered outside. Inside the theater, dummies representing casualties of the explosion were scattered across the auditorium.

James Carney served as Senior Controller of the exercise. He said 31 soldiers represented the injured.

"It was just primarily soldiers in there not a lot of family members although there were some in there for the scenario. There are casualties buried under the rubble and the building to the west was on fire as well,” said Carney.

Ambulances arrived from Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Reynolds Army Community Hospital to take in patients.

Carney said the scenario took about six months to plan. He said the exercise itself was very intricate, including injects or events that drive the situation forward.

"The explosion being inject number one to distressed parents calling different agencies on post involving the Fort Sill chaplains. We have injects from national news services asking for information," said Carney.

Incident Commander Bobby Klein of the Fort Sill Fire Department said this simulation was taken very seriously.

"This could happen at any time in today's environment and this is to keep us fresh and prepared for real world emergencies," said Klein.

During the simulation, those entering the post were subject to full vehicle inspections because of the heightened level of security. Klein said it was a good reminder for all emergency personnel on-and-off post to continue their training.

"Don't take things for granted that a true emergency like this could happen at Fort Sill any day," said Klein.

Fort Sill went to its highest state of alert, threat-con delta, which is short for terrorist threat condition.

The scenario will resume Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to simulate a full 24-hours after a major disaster.

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