Airmen, Soldiers train to maintain skills

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chance Babin
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs
In the culmination of weeks of training, Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing and Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment conducted a joint emergency response exercise June 23 here.

"When we got here we wanted to make sure we are ready to react to any situation," said Army Staff Sgt. Lee Rodriguez, from the 3-4 ADAR. "To better prepare ourselves for real world scenarios, we've been working in small blocks with the Air Force, leading up to this exercise."

Sergeant Rodriguez said this exercise was developed using real-world events that could impact operations on Army sites.

"We wanted to test and validate processes and procedures that would be used in events similar to the ones we saw today," he said.

Prior to the exercise, Air Force explosive ordnance disposal teams gave refresher training to Soldiers on how to identify, react to, call for support and clear a safety zone for unexploded ordnance.

"The Army's motivation was excellent," Staff Sgt. Michael Dart, a 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance team leader. "They know it's a likely scenario they will encounter in their career and knowing (procedures) will keep them safe. Their (leaders have) been excellent in making sure their people are trained."

The exercise kicked off with a Soldier being "injured" by a UXO. A medic rushed out, provided immediate care and got the injured person to safety. Then, medics administered realistic treatment including inserting an intravenous line and a nasopharyngeal airway, a tube that secures an open airway.

"This training was outstanding for the medics," said Pivate 1st Class Angela Maresca, a medic for the 3-4 ADAR. "We got hands on trauma-based training. It was realistic because we were able to administer treatment."

The Soldiers called for ambulance support from the medical clinic here, and medical staff members from the clinic continued the scenario.
"Communication was good," Private Maresca said. "It was good to put it into use."

While the medical portion was taking place, an Army quick reaction force team secured the UXO area. The QRF team swept the area, identified the UXO locations and cordoned the initial perimeter. Air Force security forces members then arrived on the scene, made contact with the Army's on-scene commander and extended the cordon to account for the blast zone.

"Training today was outstanding," said rmy Staff Sgt. Brandon Combs, from the 3-4 ADAR. "For us, it was a culmination of many smaller training events. Today we put it all together in a larger exercise."

"Working with the Army was good," said Staff Sgt. Angeline Brown, from 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. "We don't get to work with them often, but when we do, we teach them the way we do things, and we learn the way they do things and then we tend to mesh pretty well."

Military working dog teams also participated in the exercise.

"After being called to the scene to clear the area, we did a search looking for explosives or UXOs," said Staff Sgt. Axel Rodriguez, a 380th ESFS MWD handler. "Coordination was good. They knew what they were looking for and utilized us properly. It was good to see both forces come together and work as a team."

For the EOD team, the synchronization went well.

"It went real smooth for us," Sergeant Dart said. "There was none of the typical confusion between services. I had a good idea of what to expect when we got there."

Once the exercise was completed, all parties involved discussed their roles and evaluated their actions.

"Overall, today's events were complex, bringing multiple agencies together, working toward a common goal of force protection," said Sergeant Lee Rodriguez. "We saw that the processes did work and worked well. We look forward to working with the Air Force on more scenarios in the near future."