JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. —
Twenty Aircrew Flight Equipment Airmen from 17 U.S. Air Force wings, representing four major commands, received training on the standardized procedures for an Aircrew Contamination Control Area at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, July 9-13, 2018.
The five-day course began with classroom instruction and then hands-on training to gain first-hand knowledge of how to stand up and effectively operate a 9-stage ACCA during a chemical incident.
The exercise tested Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear capabilities in an attempt to validate AFE response teams. The teams consist of 18 AFE Airmen who would respond to any chemical environment worldwide to keep operations flowing and personnel safe.
“As we walk (aircrew members) through the line, we want to make sure we are getting all the (chemicals) off of them,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Inishia George, 436th Training Squadron AFE instructor. “We have a bleach solution and M295 decontamination mitts that we pat them down with. Also, as they walk through the line, we begin to remove their equipment and at the last station, we remove their mask after using the Joint Chemical Agent Detector system.”
The training was also used to standardize procedures across all AFE units Air Force wide. According to Master Sgt. Kyle Yager, 1st Operations Support Squadron AFE section chief, having AFE units standardized throughout the Air Force will save Air Combat Command around $250 million worth of equipment.
According to George, as AFE personnel learn techniques to remain proficient in a chemical environment, they play a vital role in everyday operations. They provide and inspect all pilot equipment from helmets, masks and G-suits which allow pilots across the force to safely fly day-in and day-out.
“The biggest reason (for this exercise) is to ensure that we are proficient in a chemical environment so we can take care of our aircrew members,” said Master Sgt. Michael Doane, 436th Training Squadron node operator. “That is one of our primary mission charges.”