105th Airmen Test Ability to Function in Chemical Environment
Story by: (Author Name)Tech. Sgt. Michael O’Halloran - 105th Airlift Wing
Dated: Fri, May 11, 2012
STEWART ANGB NEWBURGH, N.Y. --Evaluator MSgt Bill Muller reviewing PAR sweep progress with civil engineering team during a base exercise May 4, 2012. (National Guard Photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael OHalloran)(Released)
Members of the 105th Airlift Wing kicked off a unit training assembly with a readiness exercise on the morning of May 4, 2012. The day began with the base public address systems blasting out EXERCISE! EXERCISE! EXERCISE! ALARM YELLOW! MOPP LEVEL TWO...
All over the installation, Airmen new and seasoned, opened up their Airman’s Manuals as reference and began donning protective over garments and then hunkered down to await further orders.
105th leadership is serious about unit readiness, so much so, that training begins three years out. Preparing for outstanding performance is a crawl, walk, run process. While many Stewart Airmen have years of readiness experience, the Wing sees a large number of retirements as well as new enlistee’s filling the ranks between inspections. With each retirement the unit loses pieces of corporate knowledge and ingrained abilities. Practicing over time allows newer airmen as well our veteran members to catch up on and hone required skill-sets’ building up their knowledge base so responses become second nature when needed.
Now, if you’ve never had the joy of living/working in protective over garments and a gas mask for hours let me tell you fun is not a descriptive word. In short: you are bulky, hot and sweaty. Yet our airmen make the most of it by really getting into the spirit of the training session from reviewing their manuals to one of the most important skills visibly demonstrated across the installation: Buddy Care. The first Airmen in MOPP began helping others get into their gear and then checking them for proper fit and markings. Once cleared for outside operations, the Post Attack Recovery sweep team personnel showed the right stuff in unexploded ordnance detection, identification and marking off of safe zones. Door guards ensured anyone attempting shelter entry went through the de-contamination process. We’re not perfect yet. Its all fun and games until someone starts uncontrollably shaking. An exercise evaluator had an airman show signs of nerve agent exposure upon return to a shelter. It took a few long seconds for personnel to realize that the victim wasn’t fooling around and to simulate injecting nerve agent antidote and start buddy care.
But, hey that’s what training like this is about, to constantly improve our skills, knowledge and abilities. The 105th Airlift Wing has a long history of high achievement and will be well prepared for and ready for the 2015 operational readiness inspection.