CBRNE training prepares Airmen for worst

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nathanael Callon
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Before Airmen deploy in support of overseas contingency operations, they must be prepared for any challenge they may face. The 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Training Section provides the skills Airmen need to survive in a contaminated environment.

The EM training section provides a detailed, hands-on training experience during the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Survival Skills training here.

"Our ultimate mission here is to give Airmen the skills to survive in any of these volatile environments," Senior Airman John Marshall, 52nd CES EM Training Section NCO in charge, said.

This training builds upon the online CBRNE computer-based training, and the class applies information from the CBT by setting scenarios allowing students to get hands-on experience with what they learned.

The training teaches students about different attack alarm levels, proper wear of mission oriented protective posture gear and how to respond during pre-, trans- and post-attack operations.

"At Spangdahlem Air Base, the Airmen are given a scenario where they are deployed to a remote air base with an enemy that has various weapons capabilities," Airman Marshall said. "We build on this scenario to teach students how to prepare for an attack, the proper donning of MOPP gear and performing post-attack reconnaissance sweeps for their area of responsibility."

The hands-on training teaches Airmen how to survive on their own.

"If the students should happen to be unfortunate enough to get into a situation where there are contaminants, they will be prepared and have this information fresh in their minds. We want the students to readily know, 'this is how I get a seal on my mask, this is how I wear my gear properly and this is the correct way to perform a buddy check,'" Staff Sgt. Sylvia Pierce, 52nd CES readiness and emergency management journeyman, said.

Many changes to the training were made in the past few years to prepare Airmen for the worldwide challenges they may face while supporting overseas operations.

"The CBRNE training program has come a long way in the past few years," Airman Marshall said. "The program has come from two to four hour briefings with no hands-on training to the survival skills training that we use today."

Survival skills training is required for Airmen who deploy, but it is more than just an out-processing requirement.

"A lot of people come in to survival skills training thinking it is just another check on their out-processing checklist, but it is more than that. In a real-world situation, knowing this information is going to save people's lives," Airman Marshall said. "Teaching these Airmen to survive and knowing that they will go down range prepared for these situations if they encounter it make my job very rewarding."