Aircraft Incident Response Checklist

Checklist 2 min
Be prepared to respond quickly and efficiently to an aircraft accident or incident that occurs on or off base.

In the event of an aircraft accident, it is crucial for you to establish control of the internal and external narrative. You will do this by implementing the items in this checklist. Make sure each of these actions is carried out by yourself and/or a team member.

Check with your unit to ensure there are no local checklists that should be used instead.

  1. Verify the situation with Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Crisis Action Team (CAT).
  2. Direct team members to their designated posts to perform their tasks.
  3. Annotate details on the Accident and Incident Report Sheet.
  4. Cancel all scheduled or current public affairs (PA) events.
  5. Provide PA guidance to the commander within one hour after receiving notice of the event.
  6. Contact higher headquarters (HHQ) for guidance.
  7. Inform the commander that additional personnel is needed to staff the public affairs office if applicable.
  8. Receive the initial news release from EOC and disseminate it to the appropriate publics.
  9. Make sure all released information:
    1. includes key information.
    2. contains messages from the command post.
    3. is free of errors.
    4. contains no critical information or security, accuracy, policy or propriety (SAPP) violations.
  10. Activate Straight Talk Center or text messaging service within four hours of the serious incident via answering machine or internet. Provide base personnel with:
    1. the authoritative point of contact.
    2. accurate information about the status of the accident.
    3. command's actions.
  11. Consult your social media strategy and decision matrix to determine if, what and where to post. Consider using the During a Crisis: Social Media Strategy Guidelines throughout the crisis.
  12. Prepare a briefing card that includes a list of all questions news organizations and the public could ask about the incident. Each question should:
    1. include an answer with information that is known at the time.
    2. indicate whether and when the information can be released.
    3. include an explanation of why the information is not available or when it is expected to be available.
  13. Revise the briefing card as needed to reflect new or updated information about the incident.
  14. Prepare fact sheet(s) for the equipment and situation.
  15. Prepare a news release for the base website and publications and a social media statement for online audiences.
  16. Make updated statements available to the military operations center.
  17. Provide the press with the initial DoD or service position on the breaking news story within four hours of the event.
  18. Document and respond to all media queries within eight hours.
  19. Clear all responses with the commander and HHQ before release.
  20. Forward all queries to headquarters for log.
  21. Send the situation report (SITREP) to HHQ as warranted.
  22. Provide an after-action report (AAR) to HHQ within seven days after the end of the event. The report should contain:
    1. a chronology of PA actions.
    2. problems encountered.
    3. community relations aspects.
    4. lessons learned.
  23. Publish information on the base website and social media, if applicable to your social media strategy, at least weekly. Follow up with the After a Crisis: Updating Your Social Media Strategy checklist.
  24. Log all activities in your local events log.
  25. Ensure all checklist items have been completed.