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Utah Air National Guard Enhances Readiness with Advanced CBRNE Training Exercise

  • Published
  • By TSgt Nicholas Perez
  • 151st Wing

ROLAND R WRIGHT ANG BASE, UT -- The Utah Air National Guard's 151st Wing is taking proactive steps to fortify its readiness and capabilities, amidst the escalating global tensions and the growing complexities of modern military operations. Recognizing the critical importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of emerging threats, the UTANG has conducted a comprehensive Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) training exercise to equip its airmen with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in high-stakes Global Power Competitions (GPC).

On June 9, 2024, approximately 200 personnel gathered at Hangar 19 to participate in this rigorous and meticulously planned exercise, which is mandated annually under DAFI 10-2501 guidance. This event transcends the realm of a routine drill, serving as a critical component of the Air Force's strategic initiative to nurture a resilient and adaptable fighting force capable of responding to complex challenges across the GPC landscape.

"Our strategic objective with this CBRNE training is to develop our people, honing their analytical skills and decision-making capabilities so they can operate effectively in deployed environments," said Senior Master Sgt. Julia Dandurand, emergency management. "We're generating readiness and intentionally placing our airmen in uncomfortable, high-stress scenarios to prepare them for the unpredictability of real-world missions."

The training simulation mirrored deployment conditions as realistically as possible, challenging the airmen to swiftly and accurately respond to CBRNE incidents. By seamlessly integrating Task Qualification Training with CBRNE-specific scenarios, the exercise efficiently addressed multiple training requirements, optimizing the use of resources and enhancing overall readiness.

Dandurand continues, "We have to do more with less all the time. By combining Task Qualification Training with CBRNE requirements, we can simultaneously meet various training goals, improving our readiness exercises efficiency and effectiveness." 

Key elements of the training included rapid gear donning, effective utilization of personal protective equipment, and tactical combat casualty care under CBRNE conditions. Airmen were also tested on their ability to perform complex tasks while fully equipped, ensuring their operational capabilities remained intact even under extreme duress.

The meticulous planning process for this exercise was a testament to the Guard's commitment to excellence. Senior Airman Megan Dean, emergency management, who had previously attended a FEMA course, shared, "I integrated the learned concepts into our exercise scenarios, ensuring every detail was aligned with our readiness objectives."

The process of incorporating the techniques and strategies learned from a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course was also done to ensure that every component of the instruction was aligned with the Air Force's objectives for readiness and preparedness. The Airmen who participated in the training found the practical and demanding nature of the exercises to be highly engaging, as these activities were explicitly designed to cultivate their expertise and proficiency in the subject matter.

Master Sgt. Daniel Saldivar, emergency management, said, "It's about becoming comfortable being uncomfortable, which is crucial in preparing us for the unpredictability of real-world deployments." 

Looking ahead, the Utah Air National Guard plans to continue these CBRNE training exercises annually, refining and expanding the scenarios to better equip its personnel for the complexities of modern warfare and the strategic demands of the GPC.

This initiative underscores the Guard's commitment to maintaining high readiness levels and adapting to the evolving challenges in international security dynamics. By ensuring the UTANG remains a robust, adaptable force capable of confronting global threats head-on, Utah is positioning itself as a formidable player in the ever-changing landscape of modern military operations.

The Utah Air National Guard's cutting-edge CBRNE training simulation is vital to its strategic preparedness initiatives. It ensures that the Utah Air National Guard remains a powerful and effective asset in confronting emerging threats. Through this simulation, the Utah Guard is proactively preparing its airmen to anticipate and address the multifaceted challenges of warfare, solidifying its position as a crucial player in safeguarding national security and responding to the dynamic nature of global conflicts.