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South Carolina Airmen Join 2nd Joint Fox EMBER Training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amy Rangel,
  • 169th Fighter Wing

EASTOVER, S.C. - Eighteen South Carolina Air National Guard Airmen and 44 military personnel from seven states and one territory conducted Emergency Management Battlefield Expeditionary Response training, also known as Fox EMBER, May 31-June 9.

The 169th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Emergency Management flight pioneered this immersive training in the inaugural event last year. 

The goal is to replicate realistic wartime chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear scenarios to hone skills and ensure readiness.

Building on Fox EMBER 23’s success, which consisted of several Air National Guard units, this year’s iteration expanded to include active-duty U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and South Carolina Army National Guard participants. 

The joint environment provided an excellent opportunity to field test new equipment and capabilities, according to U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jamie Powell, installation emergency manager assigned to the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron and Fox EMBER exercise lead.

“The increased footprint of Fox EMBER 24 allowed us to train together, share knowledge, and build working relationships,” said Powell. “We bolstered our training on HAZMAT, sampling, evidence collection, and TCCC [Tactical Combat Casualty Care].”

Powell said the exercise also enabled the formation of smaller strike teams and incorporated more targets and elements of surprise to execute in the mock village.

SCANG participants simulated their new Outside the Wire mission in realistic conditions, and all three services accomplished their training objectives.

Airmen sharpened their skills in five critical emergency management areas outlined this year to enhance their response capabilities. These areas included chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear plotting, hazard identification, decontamination operations, physically and mentally fit/capable Airmen, and combat skills training. 

Medics from the South Carolina Army National Guard’s Medical Command supported the exercise with TCCC training, simulated weapons and training casualties.

On the exercise’s capstone day, U.S. Marine Corps Reservists from the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion executed exfiltration operations as they transported Airmen from the battlefield to the tactical operations center.

“Fox EMBER presented a dynamic and enjoyable venue for fulfilling training requirements and honing combat skills. It was an excellent opportunity for FEMA Region 4 to come together, collaborate, train and overall enhance each shop’s capabilities,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Zachary Cates, emergency management specialist assigned to the 117th Civil Engineer Squadron.

Powell said large-scale training events like Fox EMBER benefit all participating services.

“It is not time- or cost-effective to set up these training scenarios at individual bases,” said Powell. “By pooling resources and setting up larger events, we are able to get more of our Airmen trained to a higher level.”