CBRN exercises tests emergency response capabilities

Senior Airman Akil Oohoa checks the remperature and heart rate of a participant in a training exercise at Osan Air Base in South Korea. | Courtesy of DVIDS
Earlier this month, service members of the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron and the 51st Aerospace Medicine Squadron (AMDS) took part in integrated base emergency response capability training exercises at the Osan Air Base in South Korea.

The exercises where focused on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats and involved the usage of personal protective equipment and detection techniques to determine the nature of the scenarios.

One of the scenarios was the simulation of an improvised explosive device based around a vehicle. One aspect that was important in this exercise was to see how temperature increases from the suit could affect operations. A temperature spike can bring core body temperatures to high levels, which can result in cognitive impairment, loss of dexterity and lacking motor skills.

“Heat is a big factor for us as emergency responders,” Staff Sgt. Steven Staab, a 51st AMDS bioenvironmental engineer craftsman, said. “When we’re in these suits it gets pretty hot, and you can feel yourself getting drained physically and mentally trying to do all that you need to do out in the field.”

The training scenarios were designed by Alliance Solutions Group. This set of exercises was designed to evaluate the capabilities of numerous areas that are necessary to operate as a cohesive unit, including skills in fire and emergency services practices, readiness and bioenvironmental engineering.

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