Keesler prepared for active shooter situation

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Wednesday's Fort Hood shooting that left four dead and 16 injured begs the question; what measures do Keesler Air Force Base have in place in the event of an incident like this.

Nearly 10,000 people come and go through the gates of Keesler each day. Tight security measures only allow authorized personnel in, helping to make those who live and work on base feel safe.

"I feel like we are a close knit family here at Keesler, and we all work together and strive for well being for everyone," said civilian employee David Horner.

According to Major Brian Fitzpatrick, who is commander of the 81st Security Forces Squadron, everyone who lives or works on base is trained on how to handle active shooter situations.

"The airmen of the 81st Security Squadron are trained on an annual requirement. However, we train quarterly on active shooter response," said Fitzpatrick.

Though Fitzpatrick couldn't go into great detail on how they are trained, he says everyone from base teachers to commissary workers take part in random drills. They are designed to prepare them in the event there is an active shooter on base. Of course, Fitzpatrick says you can never really be ready.

"The active shooter is likely to be unpredictable, but the measures we have in our response and in our training would get us through an incident," said Fitzpatrick.

There has never been an active shooter situation at Keesler, but that doesn't keep military personnel and civilians from being aware of the real threat that the incident at Fort Hood could have happened anywhere.

"I think overall, I think everybody here is cognizant of the fact of what has happened and what has transpired," said Horner.

Fitzpatrick says all of these security measures were in place well before Wednesday's incident.

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