355th CES Airmen participate in night ops training
By Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn, 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 22, 2012
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Usually at 11 p.m., D-M is pretty quiet. The streets are clear of traffic and the buildings are dark and deserted. But even at this late hour, the Desert Lightning City is a happening place.
At the DLC, often referred to as tent city, members of the 355th Civil Engineer Squadron took part in a night operations training mission from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. August 16 and 17.
The training location represented a deployed location and in keeping with the realism of the training mission, the Airmen all wore vests, Kevlar helmets and carried rifles filled with blanks.
The civil engineers broke off into four separate groups. Each group was trained in four separate areas which included self-aid buddy care, night vision goggles training, 9-line medevac training, and post attack reconnaissance with mission oriented protective posture gear.
Nine-line is used to call in urgent evacuation for casualties from the battlefield. In the 9-line class, Senior Airman Jason Sweet, 306th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, reviewed the steps involved when calling in an emergency medevac. Some of the steps include listing the number of injured and how they need to be evacuated, describe how you'll mark the pickup site, and stating your radio frequency.
In the next class, Staff Sgt. Nathan Melazzo, 355th CES explosive ordinance disposal, went through the different versions of NVGs and how to operate them. After the brief explanation, the Airmen were able to able to use the goggles as they walked the perimeter of the training tent looking for unexploded ordinances. With NVGs on the user can clearly see in the dark, but their depth perception is affected.
After the NVG course, it was time to move onto the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training course held by Senior Airman Gabrielle Crandall and Senior Airman Karlee Diven, both from 355th CES.
"At this station, we're dealing with CBRNE and the proper wearing of MOPP gear," Diven said. "It's pretty much a scaled-down CBRNE class. For this exercise, the Airmen will be in MOPP level 4 and performing post attack reconnaissance. They're walking around the perimeter of the shelter looking for contamination, casualties, damage to the area or anything that would indicate an attack. This is the same thing we'd be doing overseas."
The last training exercise had the Airmen practice SABC. During this part of the training, the engineers checked on a fictitious defensive fighting position that had lost radio communication. The Airmen were split into two separate teams: the medical team and the security team. When they reached the DFP, an opposing force engaged them. The security team had to return fire while the medical team attended to the wounded and brought them to safety.
With the sun getting ready to rise from behind the Tucson mountains, the training mission was complete.
When it comes to training and absorbing the information, this hands-on approach seems to work better than the usual slides or computer training.
"With computer based training, it seems like a lot of Airmen just click through it and they probably don't remember much of the material," said 1st Lt. Michele Tempel, 355th CES chief of readiness and emergency management. "With this hands-on training, the Airmen review how to properly put on MOPP gear, operate night vision goggles and other things they may have to do in a deployed location."
Although the Airmen were trained on all the different areas, it doesn't mean they'll have to use the knowledge.
"I've never been in a chemical attack or had to use NVGs, but self-aid buddy care is relevant in many circumstances," Tempel said. "Our engineers have a high deployment tempo and a high presence overseas, so it's a possibility they may need to use their SABC training skills."
The training was to ensure that if a situation arises where the Airmen need to use any of these skills and equipment, they'll possess the knowledge and capability to handle it.