Grissom moves hundreds of Airmen through CBRN training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Courtney Dotson-Essett
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Over 300 Airmen from nearly every unit of the 434th Air Refueling Wing received hands-on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training during the November unit training assembly.

The event was held in an aircraft hangar to accommodate the flow of traffic: 30 Airmen every 30 minutes.

The mass training served as a refresher on how to survive and operate in life-threatening conditions.

It also helped improve wing readiness, making sure Grissom Airmen remain ready in their integral role in global and national security.

 “Normally our classes on the primary UTA’s are 60 people, spread out over three classes,” said Bob Wydock, 434th ARW installation emergency manager. “If we are caught up, and they fill every class every time, it would be just enough to stay current.”

Spread out over seven stations, participants practiced proper wear and storage of their gas masks and chemical gear.

Emergency management Airmen assigned to the 434th ARW, along with volunteers from around the wing, manned each station to help participants check their gear and to see how fast they could put it on.

They also talked Airmen through pre and post-attack actions and how to properly decontaminate surfaces if exposed to a hazardous substance.

Wydock said this training is not just about compliance but also about ensuring Airmen are prepared with crucial survival skills.

“Airmen have to know how to protect themselves, and their Wingman, in an environment that could expose them to substances that are not so friendly for humans,” said Wydock.

Airmen are required to take the CBRN course every 18 months.

“There’s a lot of information offered in the class, but I definitely feel more comfortable getting into my gear after taking the class,” said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Jacobs, 434th ARW occupational safety technician.

The last CBRN rodeo at Grissom was held in 2017.

While a training of this size take months to plan, Wydock said his office will work to make sure every Airmen at Grissom has the training they need.

“Every one of our instructors teaches the class a little differently,” he said. “But everyone here at Grissom is going to get the training they need to protect themselves.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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