PAR olympics prepare Airmen for ORI
By Senior Airman James Schenck, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 27, 2006
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Seventeen two-man teams put their post attack reconnaissance knowledge and skill to use Feb. 15 when they gathered at the base theater for Dyess’ first-ever PAR olympics.
The event was designed to provide handson training to PAR teams prior to the operational readiness inspection that is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
“The PAR olympics was the idea of Tech. Sgt. (Stephen) Cass (7th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness flight) as a way to build esprit de corp and to make PAR training more fun while still being competitive, said Lt Col. Timothy Eichhorn, 7th CES. “It required a lot of ground work and planning, but I think it really helped to get our PAR skills honed razor sharp.”
“The need for speed and proper execution is very important,” Sergeant Cass said, referring to PAR team skills.
It was good training for all involved, Sergeant Cass said, who identified casualty recovery as one particularly challenging area.
The timed exercise contained every scenario that a PAR team is likely to encounter during the ORI as well as in real-world situations, including checking M-8 stanchions;
identifying contaminated vehicles; reporting, recording and marking unexploded ordinance; and casualty care, to name a few.
The readiness flight created two identical simulated post chemical attack environments, which two teams went through at the same time.
Teams competed for the fastest time, but were also graded on how many serious mistakes they made while completing the course.
One team failed to properly mark a UXO and walked into its cordon, earning them a “dumb kill” that counted against them, Sergeant Cass said.
The goal was not only hands-on training, but also to promote teamwork, which Airmen could take back to their units and use for the ORI.
“We hope that the team will take what they learned from this training to the ORI,” Sergeant Cass said. “As a team, you are only as fast as your slowest person.”
Instead of medals, the olympians received prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
The “7th Operations Group team 2” placed 1st, earning each team member a $40
gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse and a day off. The “Munitions Squadron team 1”
placed 2nd, earning each team member a $30 Army and Air Force Exchange Service gift certificate and a day off. The “MUNS team 2” placed 3rd, earning each team member a $10 AAFES gift certificate and a day off.
Many supporters, including unit commanders, made it to the event as well, which allowed lessons learned at the PAR olympics to be brought home, Sergeant Cass said.