Exercise Radiant Falcon expands knowledge of aircraft decontamination

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Albert Morel
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 52nd Fighter Wing partnered with the Department of Defense-contracted Alliance Solutions Group to execute the base’s first Exercise Radiant Falcon April 23-25.

Over the past three years, Radiant Falcon was solely offered to Air Mobility Command and Air Combat Command, but it is steadily becoming a standardized training across the U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa.

Radiant Falcon focused on radiological contamination detection and decontamination processes. Exercises like these are vital in ensuring Airmen develop the skills needed to minimize the health risks associated with potential contamination scenarios and ensure operational readiness across all domains.

“Ultimately, the bioenvironmental engineering career field is considering making this a core competency in our standardized training courses.” said Lt. Col. Marc Sylvander, USAFE-AFAFRICA Medical Counter Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense chief.

The first day of in-class instruction trained personnel on radiation response processes, and health and safety procedures during the recovery of potentially contaminated aircraft. The more than 25 participants consisted of medical personnel, weapons load crew members, maintainers, emergency responders and refuelers.

“This exercise afforded us the opportunity to physically see the roles our teammates play in scenarios such as this,” said Maj. Todd Brackett, 52nd Operational Readiness Medical Squadron Bioenvironmental Engineering flight commander. “Whereas before, we would have to assume each of the individual flights had the resources they needed.”

On the second day of the exercise, Airmen immersed themselves in a simulated scenario where they responded to a potentially contaminated aircraft’s arrival. Within minutes of the alert, the Airmen donned personal protective equipment, and began their contamination detection and decontamination processes.

Members from 52d Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight also tested their adaptability by operating in an area with no internet connection.

The exercise was especially beneficial to the newer Airmen who were forced to use offline checklists to identify the proper safety equipment needed to operate near the contaminated aircraft, said Staff Sgt. Samantha Campbell, 52nd OMRS BEE NCO in charge.

As Spangdahlem AB continues to conduct routine readiness exercises, the skills acquired during Radiant Falcon will ensure the 52nd FW’s ability to remain fast, agile, and able to surge to effectively deter threats.