FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Aircrew Flight Equipment technicians from the 141st Operations Support Squadron participated in an aircrew decontamination exercise in the first week of June at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The members set up the aircrew contamination control area as part of a Unit Effectiveness Inspection, or UEI, where inspector general, or IG, members from Air Mobility Command reviewed and provided feedback as part of the UCI.
On the first day of training, AFE received instruction and guidance from the IG members from AMC. As part of the decontamination process, AFE members don personal protective equipment that ensures their safety from being contaminated with chemical agents during the entire process.
AFE participated in this training all week long and it culminated with members of aircrew coming through the contamination control area and simulated being decontaminated.
“This is the Aircrew Contamination Control Area setup to train if there is a chemical attack,” said Senior Airman Jennifer Cervi, an AFE technician with the 141st OSS. “It is important to be prepare so we are ready to get all chemical agents off aircrew after a chemical attack.”
Combining June and July’s regularly scheduled drill periods along with annual training provided ample time for AFE to set up the ACCA and complete the UCI while IG was here from AMC. The purpose and goal of the demonstration is to make sure that AFE is in compliance with the decontamination process in the event of chemical incident that would require aircrew to be decontaminated.
“It’s our job as aircrew flight equipment to decontaminate them and that is what the aircrew contamination control area does,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Hanson, 141st OSS AFE technician. “It uses a step-by-step process where they get decontaminated from any kind of nerve agent, gas, chemical or biological weapon they may have been attacked with.”
Hanson also stated that it is nice to have extra time to be set up and participate in a decontamination process because they wouldn’t normally have as much time during a normal scheduled drill period.
The training consisted on hands-on instruction with planning, managing, and assembling the aircrew contamination control area.
Setting up the aircrew contamination control area gave AFE the opportunity to receive training to be able to stay compliant with the decontamination process of aircrew protective gear, including aeromedical evacuation suits and ground grew suits.
Having the IG team here from AMC provided the 141st OSS AFE technicians with subject matter experts who excel with processes, protocol, and continuity of the complete aircrew contamination control area and decontamination process.
Aircrew contamination control area training is an integral to the safety of aircrew and is critical for survivability in the instance of a chemical or biological agent attack, said Hanson.