Friday, February 21, 2014

TOP STORY >> CBRN Defense: From boots to mask

By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management flight teaches eight CBRN defense classes every month to active-duty Airmen and mission-essential civilians.  

Knowing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense is a vital part of being a warrior Airman. This potentially life-saving class teaches protection measures against the many threats that are present in today’s evolving warfare.

Flying and maintenance squadron members take the CBRN defense class every two years. But the classroom usually consists of people who are preparing to deploy, as it is a requirement.

In early January 2014, the class relocated to building 538. Along with the building move, changes to the curriculum were made as well. 

“The class is now more interactive and evaluation-based than before. It is more hands-on,” said Tech Sgt. Nicole Perez, 19th CES emergency management noncommissioned officer in charge.

Ten 19th CES emergency management Airmen alternate on instructing the class. They are quickly learning and implementing the new curriculum. More than 120 people each month are being taught the new CBRN defense class.

Staff Sgt. Nathan Williams, a 19th CES emergency management journeyman, highlighted some of the skills learned in the roughly two-hour long class. 

“The class is student-driven,” said Williams. “We learn about the M50 gas mask, MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) gear, marking contaminants, how to decontaminate and identify unexploded ordnances.” 
 Donning the MOPP gear is one of the main skills covered. 

 “We want them to get comfortable with the suits,” Perez said. “You won’t have a CBRN instructor downrange. The suit can protect you from nuclear fallout, biological agents and nerve blister agents.”

The CBRN defense class is just one of many classes that the 19th CES emergency management flight teaches. 

“We also conduct shelter-in-place, emergency operations center, unit control center and emergency management representative classes,” said Perez. 

The CBRN defense class is held twice every Wednesday at 9 a.m. and at 1 p.m. Contact your unit deployment manager or unit training manager to schedule your next appointment. 

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