MARTINSBURG, W.V. – The 167th Airlift Wing emergency responders participated in a week-long, all hazards response training exercise, April 26-30.
Facilitated by Federal Resources, the Counter CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) All-Hazard Management Response, or CAMR, is a hybrid program of classroom lecture, discussion and tabletop exercises that culminate in a full-scale emergency response exercise.
The wing’s environmental engineering, public health, emergency management, fire, security and emergency operations center functions participated in the event.
“This year’s CAMR allowed the wing to receive credit for three tabletop exercises and one full-scale exercise. These provided participants the ability to cultivate their skill-sets and focus on areas that are most critical related to mitigating the loss of life, property and damage to the environment,” said Maj. Wayne Harrison, director of inspections for the 167th AW.
During the first three days of the exercise, participants received various training to include incident command system issues on CBRN response, personal protective equipment, decontamination, and emergency operation center capabilities. They also conducted tabletop exercises on chemical release, radiation release and disease containment.
A full-scale exercise was conducted on the fourth day. Building on the previous days of training, Airmen responded to a simulated aircraft hijacking and, with a chemical release, testing the response capabilities of all exercise participants.
“Federal Resources shared military and civilian best practices with all participants to solidify their response and skills further,” said Master Sgt. Justin Bird. Bird was instrumental in coordinating with Federal Resources to bring the training to the wing. “As a team effort, this gave everyone an understanding of the responsibilities and capabilities of each section.”
On the final day, the Airmen reconvened to review the exercise and some of the key lessons learned.
“The way we respond is the same every time; that’s the mindset I want you to take away from this,” said Chris Keesee, CBRN training project manager for Federal Resources. Keesee also told the Airmen that communications will always be a challenge and keep improving on multi-agency relationships.
Bird lauded the event was not only for the valuable training but also for the camaraderie built among its participants.