As part of a regional exercise, military helicopters will fly to and from the former site of Lorton Prison on Tuesday, October 18, from 7-8 a.m. and Wednesday, October 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The choppers will be seen near the area of the former prison, which is now known as Laurel Hill, and exit 161 on Interstate 95.
Along with more than 70 federal and non-federal agencies, Fairfax County’s Fire and Rescue Department will participate in the Joint Force Headquarters – National Capital Region’s Exercise Capital Shield 12.
Capital Shield 12 is designed to test and evaluate joint operations, techniques, procedures, and command and control relationships and enhance interoperability among U.S. Department of Defense and interagency partners. The exercise’s scenario involves collapsed buildings that require urban search and rescue and the evacuation of mass casualties, and the goal is to ensure that government agencies at every level are prepared to take coordinated action to protect the public in the event of a natural or man-made disaster in the National Capital Region.
The Army’s 12th Aviation Battalion, the Air Force’s 1st Helicopter Squadron and the 121st Medical Company (Air Ambulance) of the DC National Guard will be performing the air missions. These units will be transporting elements from the Army’s 911th Technical Rescue Engineer Company to the exercise site and conduct medical evacuations of personnel with simulated injuries.
Other excerise participants include Arlington County Fire Department, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Support, and over a dozen hospitals throughout the region.