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317 AW hones chemical warfare capabilities

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Senior Robert Kaufman, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion journeyman, checks another Airman’s gas mask to ensure it fits properly during an exercise at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 7, 2018. This exercise tested Airmen’s ability to survive and operate in a simulated chemical exposed environment while wearing mission oriented protective posture gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas)

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Trevion Francis, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, talks to a group of Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing about post attack reconnaissance during an exercise at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 7, 2018. During the training scenario, Airmen learned how to stay safe in a chemically exposed environment and how to test which chemical is in the area using M8 detector paper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas)

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing look at a cloth used for decontaminating skin after being expose to chemical agents during an exercise at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 7, 2018. This training gave Airmen the opportunity to learn what precautions they need to take in a chemically contaminated environment and how to treat themselves in the case of injury or illness related to chemical exposure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas)

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing learn how to properly apply a bandage to a wound during an exercise at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 7, 2018. During the training scenario, participants trained on how to tend to wounds in the case of an injury while exposed to a chemically contaminated environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas)

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Capt. Zebulon Kimball, 39th Airlift Squadron pilot, is patted down with a decontamination glove by Senior Airman Nicholas Law, 317th Operation Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, during an exercise, which tested Airmen’s ability to survive and operate at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6, 2018. The exercise provided Airmen with in-depth instruction on basic warfare survival and operational skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebecca Van Syoc)

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Max Broman, 39th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, ensures cargo is dropped from a C-130J Super Hercules during an exercise, which tested Airmen’s ability to survive and operate at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 6 2018. As part of the training, aircrew completed a flight with cargo drops, then returned to Dyess AFB and simulated being contaminated by a biological or chemical attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebecca Van Syoc)

The 317th AW completes chemical warfare exercise

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Austin Bradshaw, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion journeyman, sanitizes a gas mask during an exercise at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 7, 2018. Airmen that participated in the training learned how to properly put on mission oriented protective posture gear and how to sanitize it if their equipment becomes exposed to chemical agents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- More than 600 Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing participated in a full-scale simulated chemical warfare exercise here, Nov. 5-9.

The exercise tested Airmen’s ability to survive and operate in a simulated chemically exposed environment while wearing mission oriented protective posture gear.

“The purpose of this exercise is to prepare our Airmen for cases where they would have to operate in a chemical environment, and see how well they’re able to perform,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy Peters, 317th AW inspector general superintendent. “This training provides them with the chance to learn how to survive and work during and after chemical attacks.”

During the training, Airmen learned how to effectively don their chemical gear, keep assets safe from contamination and how to properly provide medical care in case of injuries or illnesses. The exercise also required pilots to don MOPP gear while operating a C-130J Super Hercules.

“The biggest challenge for any of the Airmen participating will be learning how to fully operate while wearing full MOPP gear,” Peters said. “They will have to learn to adapt in order to complete their mission despite challenges that come with being in a contaminated environment while keeping themselves safe.”

Learning to operate in any environment is crucial for 317th AW Airmen to mobilize, deploy and provide intratheater airlift in any given situation.

“This type of training is important due to the mission of our wing, the locations our Airmen deploy to and the situations we can potentially become involved in,” said Col. Jeffrey Menasco, 317th AW commander. “These Airmen have gained a more in-depth understanding on how to operate in this kind of scenario and as a result, are more prepared to fly, fight and win no matter the environment.”