Tunisian officials work with Air Force on CBRN simulation

Tunisian officers recently traveled to Ramstein, Germany to work with the United States' 17th Air Force to begin preparing for a medical exercise focusing on potential responses to biological, chemical, nuclear and explosive threats.

The Tunisians, working on conjunction with the 17th Air Force, the Wyoming Air National Guard and Army Guard, the U.S. Army Reserve from Nevada, the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and other exercise planners, were putting final touches on Exercise MEDLITE 2010.

"We are focusing this exercise on the operational readiness level," Chief Master Sergeant Kristen Maurer told Africom.mil.

The exercise evaluation team will also serve as advisors and evaluators during the operation, providing instruction on disaster response-related topics.

Exercise MEDLITE 2010 follows a series of training engagements between the U.S. and Tunisia and is the first to include the Wyoming Air National Guard. The Wyoming Air National Guard began a state partnership with Tunisia in 2007.

"These exercises improve our medical readiness and make Tunisian and U.S. troops very friendly and very familiar," Colonel Kahled Lemine said. "We have been conducting them for some years and they improve our proficiency to operate in certain cases, such as CBRNE."

The last exercise like this held by Tunisia took place in 2008 and this year's exercise is the first to include the CBRNE scenario.

"We've taken the lessons learned from the last MEDLITE and tried to use them to improve this exercise," Tunisian Lieutenant Colonel Khaled Baltaji said. "It's going to be more hands on. MEDLITE is the most successful exercise for us. It's an opportunity for us to analyze special techniques and to see how the U.S. works."