US, Kyrgyz officials participate in joint exercise

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore
  • 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Emergency responders from the Kyrgyz Ministries of Emergency Services, Interior and Defense participated in a joint explosive ordnance disposal and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives response exercise with their American counterparts Nov. 22 here.

The exercise was part of a continuing partnership information exchange program that familiarizes Kyrgyz experts with Air Force CBRNE and EOD tactics, techniques and procedures.

For the scenario the joint CBRNE and EOD teams were sent to clear an apartment that intelligence reports indicated was being used by an extremist cell to make dirty bombs. The EOD teams entered the apartment with a robot to check for explosives devices and to test the room for radioactive materials. They then sent a team in with equipment to X-ray a suspicious package.

This is the second joint response exercise for Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Hansen, the 376th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of emergency management.

Today's exercise focused around a radiological threat, something that is a concern, Hansen said. "By working together through scenarios like this, we learn to interchangeably use our skills and gain confidence in our ability to work together."

Master Sgt. Susanne Bell, who also participated in the prior exercise, briefed the group about radiation limits, standards, exposure levels and the effect of radiation on a person's health.

The last exercise was very different because it focused on a potential biological hazard and was more hands on, said Bell, the 376th Expeditionary Medical Group NCO in charge of bioenvironmental engineering. This scenario was a lot more hands-on.

Kyrgyz Republic Lt. Col. Azamat Kurmanaliev, an MOD senior civil engineer with an EOD background, said he feels these exchanges are very beneficial.

"I came here and saw there were similarities and differences in the way that you do things than how I was taught," he said. "So I took some of these elements and have implemented them into our training program. That is why exchanges like this are so important."