JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
The Air Combat Command Surgeon General Office partnered with representatives from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to conduct an exercise testing new joint expeditionary collective protection tent systems at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, June 20, 2018.
During the event, Airmen compared current Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear, defense capabilities equipment to new Expeditionary Medical Systems equipment.
The primary focus of the exercise was to employ the new EMEDS tent liner that incorporates an airlock system to create an over-pressurized environment that protects from CBRNE agents outside of a contained area.
The toxic-free enclosure will enable medical personnel to work comfortably and efficiently while treating patients in a clean environment without having to wear full Mission Oriented Protective Posture.
“Anyone who has been out there doing an exercise on a hot day in the summer, or even a cold day in the winter, knows how terrible it can be after wearing chemical protective equipment for even a short period of time,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ben Schumacher, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center CBRNE protective systems program manager. “There is also an increased risk of exposing or contaminating others, including patients, due to fatigue or stress of trying to operate while wearing chemical protective equipment.”
Prior to the demonstration, a select group of Airmen from the 633rd Medical Support Squadron attended training to learn the new components and discern which parts can be used interchangeably with the Tent Kit 2 units and the Stand Alone Large units.
Airmen understanding the tent models and how to incorporate components with existing infrastructure in the field was a crucial element for exercise.
Those who attended the initial training taught the Airmen participating in the exercise how to assemble both tent models, most of whom have never used the new components.
“There was a little bit of a learning curve with the little intricacies, but otherwise everything went great,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Chad Dellamonica, 633rd MDSS medical logistics technician. “The hands-on experience allows us to see the little things that are easily missed when reading about procedures.”
One of the main concerns with collective protection is the limited time frame of use for chemical and biological protective measures. The new tent liners will allow medical personnel to work for extended periods of time without a need to swap out chemically protective ensembles.
“Collective protection is a part of every major wartime scenario,” said Schumacher. “With the training and equipment exhibited during this exercise, we can be ready to protect the medical mission during an attack, and this can directly result in saving lives.”
Results from the demonstration will impact medical decisions for Air Force collective protection systems and aid in Airman readiness in a deployed environment.