Airport to host disaster drill on Thursday, July 12

A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft of the 517th Airlift Squadron takes off from Bryant Army Airfield on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Monday, March 7, 2016, while practicing landing and taking off from a short runway. The event marked the first time a C-17 has taken off from the airfield since its construction in 1958, when the runway was built by the U.S. Army on then-separate Ft. Richardson to support Soldiers in remote areas of Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo/Justin Connaher)

U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs.

King County International Airport/Boeing Field will host an exercise on Thursday in which the airport will serve as the main transport center for people “injured” in a fictional natural disaster.

The exercise is needed to maintain the airport’s status as part of the federal government’s National Disaster Medical System. Drill participants will be flown to the northwest from outside the region and transported to local hospitals and medical facilities.

Two C-17 military aircraft will arrive at Boeing Field at about 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, as part of a drill involving the medical transport of people “injured” in the fictional national disaster. The flights will be met by emergency responders and medical personnel, who will transport the “patients” to area hospitals.

Nearly two dozen local, state, federal, and private organizations, led by Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, have worked together since October to plan the exercise—which is required to maintain the airport’s status as a part of the National Disaster Medical System.