911th AW, 171st ARW conduct joint decontamination training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman James Fritz
  • 911th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 911th Airlift Wing and the 171st Air Refueling Wing conducted a joint decontamination exercise at the 171st ARW in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, Sept. 8, 2019.

Airmen practiced Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear training techniques and procedures as part of a joint decontamination training event.

“This training is based on contamination control,” said Senior Master Sgt. Paul Webster, an installation emergency manager with the 171st Civil Engineering Squadron. “If people get contaminated they come up to this system and we process them through. It’s a way of getting them out of their gear and avoiding becoming victims or casualties of the exposure they may have gone under.”

This joint training was one of many during which the 911th AW and 171st ARW have worked together. 

“The 171st is getting ready for an inspection,” said Tech Sgt. Brian Vermeesch, a foreman with the 911th CES. “They were setting up their Contamination Control Area, and we went over to the 171st to help out.”

Webster said the 171st ARW and the 911th AW have the luxury of being located close to each other.

“It’s double the manpower,” said Webster. “We have limited people in our shop. When the requirement to get people trained comes down, we are able to pull our resources together and meet that requirement and fulfill our readiness requirements.”

Both the 171st ARW and the 911th AW benefit from the partnership between the two installations emergency management teams. The teams often conduct joint training exercises sharing training techniques, equipment, and resources to maintain readiness.

“Emergency management should never meet for the first time at an incident,” said Webster. “They should know each other and should know each other’s skills and resources so they can reach out and say ‘Hey, I need help.’”