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134th Air Refueling Wing Trains on Chemical Threat Response

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brandon Keys,
  • 134th Air Refueling Wing

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Hundreds of 134th Air Refueling Wing members trained how to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks quickly and efficiently during a four-day exercise. 

Airmen from the 164th Airlift Wing instructed 480 Tennessee Air National Guard Airmen how to don protective gear and diagnose various chemical agents.

“This is all about being ready,” said Civil Engineering Squadron Senior Master Sgt. Steven Breeden. “We need to make sure they feel comfortable in the suit. We have to give our Airmen all the tools they need to operate in any environment. This training is all a part of getting that done.”

As the training evolved in February, Airmen quickly applied pants, boots, gloves, jackets and other protective gear while diagnosing gases and nerve agents in various training lanes simulating combat scenarios. Instructors preached reliance on what Airmen have learned to manage stress and eliminate the threat from causing further damage.

“This is all about perspective. We’re here to provide a different view of how this can be handled, and that will help this group long-term,” said 164th Airlift Wing Staff Sgt. Justin Reed. “We have been able to train more people on multiple scenarios, and that can make all the difference when you’re faced with these kind of attacks.”

Without experience in these simulated combat scenarios, confidence wanes and responses to emergencies like chemical, biological, nuclear and environmental hazards can become even more disastrous. While understanding what threat you’re facing is vital, it’s also crucial to know your gear and use it properly.

“The most important part of this training is how to wear your gear correctly in a contaminated environment so you’ll survive,” said Airman 1st Class Hunter Mims. “They learn that this gear will protect them, decontaminate techniques to use and how to read distinctive signs of a CBRN attack.”

Thanks to training like this, Airmen are focused and better prepared to tackle any CBRN threat, at home or abroad.