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317 AW hones chemical warfare capabilities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kylee Thomas
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
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.”