Beale Air Force Base, Calif. – When a crisis occurs at Beale Air Force Base there is a unique group that is called upon to handle such difficult tasks, and that is the Emergency Operation Center (EOC).
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic to coordinate and communicate emergency procedures and supply logistics for Recce Town.
“These Airmen in the EOC are the extension of their squadrons and instead of constantly calling or traveling to each location trying to coordinate materials and supplies, they all come here and I reach out to the specific Airmen to gather information.” Said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Johnson, Installation Emergency Manager emergency operations manager.
The EOC is a centralized location, which consists of subject matter experts from various units to discuss and execute objectives during times of crisis and emergency.
“The hardest part about being in the EOC is that we have to prioritize tasks, because everyone thinks that their problem is the most important task,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Johnson, Installation Emergency Manager emergency operations manager, “Trying to balance that and ensure that right information gets to the right person at the right time so that we can act on it appropriately is difficult.”
The EOC uses communication and planning to help the base function and recover to normal operational status and once they have helped get back, it is deactivated and Airmen return to their normal careers.
“Communication is key in the EOC because it ensures that everyone is speaking the same language and terminology which is vital to the success of returning the base to its normal operations or else we fail,” said Staff Sgt. Bryan Schenone, 940th emergency manager.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the EOC has been the information center for base resources and procedures, in addition to creating contingency plans if contraction of the disease spreads on to the installation.
“We are doing a lot of planning to help leaders carry that burden to get back to normal operational status,” said Master Sgt. Chris Johnson, Installation Emergency Manager emergency operations manager, “It’s challenging but rewarding to be able to take care of our installation and Airmen.”