CBRN 2011 Challenge completed

CBRN Challenge 2011, held at the Center for National Response in Gallagher, W. Va., wrapped up July 22, with 50 warriors representing 10 major commands showcasing their abilities in a variety of CBRN training scenarios.

"CBRN threat response training is the ultimate challenge between major commands and showcases who is performing at the top of their game," Fred Casale, the Air Force Civil Engineer Agency's emergency management support manager, said. "The complexity of the scenarios that the teams faced this week is very similar to what they would encounter during an actual threat."

McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., representing Air Mobility Command, took top honors at the event. Each command provided a team comprised of a bioenvironmental engineer officer, two BE technicians and two emergency managers.

The event is designed to sharpen emergency response procedures and help identify policy and equipment gaps in both the emergency management and bioenvironmental engineer mission sets.

"At the installation level, the teams train together already and they do exercises together," Chief Master Sgt. Claudette Watler-Hall, the Air Force 'semergency management career field manage, said. "Bringing them here helps us to validate some of the tactics, techniques and procedures that we're teaching them."

The CNR includes the 2,800 foot long Memorial Tunnel, which provides for realistic training. The facility gives the teams a chance to see real effects of the threats on the equipment and materials they use. The tunnel is also used as a training facility for exercises that range from combating weapons of mass destruction to counterterrorism measures.

"This training helps continue the cohesive working relationship between the bioenvironmental and emergency management teams," Watler-Hall said. "Having both career fields working and training together ensures a smooth operating environment in which both speak the same language and understand the other's capabilities."