GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI --
Editor's Note: Alumni Report is an ongoing series of stories from the operational force about Airmen trained at Sheppard or its detachments. Aircrew Flight Equipment is taught by the 361st Training Squadron.
Aircrew Flight Equipment put together an Aircrew Contamination Control Area for crews landing in a simulated chemical environment during Crisis Response 17, here March 8.
C-17 Globemaster III crews and AFE teams from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, practiced critical skills needed in chemical situations by building the decontamination line.
“This was a post-attack scenario, aircrew flies in with contamination and it is our job to get them from contaminated to decontaminated,” said Staff Sgt. Todd Meadows, 305th Operational Support Squadron AFE. “The line takes roughly 30 minutes, we spray them down with bleach solution, use M295 and use other techniques to ensure the crew is clear of contaminants.”
Aircrew use aircrew eye respiratory protection systems while in air or on board an aircraft, opposed to the Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear, used on the ground.
“Standard MOPP gear decontamination lines are typically shorter than the AERP lines,” added Meadows. “There is more equipment involved with the aircrew suits, so it takes longer to process.”
This training, like much of the training at this year’s Mobility Exercise, is designed to keep Airmen prepared and ready for anything that could happen.
“This is good for us to know and practice,” said Capt. Zachary Kiel, 732nd Airlift Squadron instructor pilot. “The mission is taking us places right now where chemical warfare is possible, so it is important we have a good understanding of how these systems work.”