December 28th, 2007 04:54 EST
AFMC team wins 'hazardous' Air Force competition
An Air Force Materiel Command team of bioenvironmental engineering and emergency management professionals won the Air Force's 2nd annual Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Challenge held Dec. 10 through the 14 at Brooks City-Base, Texas.
Considered to be the olympics for the two career fields, AFMC was one of eight Air Force major commands to participate in the week-long event with six realistic scenarios that tested the teams' capabilities to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare threats.
The AFMC team edged units from Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Force Space Command, Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Air Forces in Europe. An Air National Guard team also participated and captured the Team Spirit Award.
The challenge mirrors potential homeland security and war on terrorism threats. It was held at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine's Expeditionary Medical Support site here.
Each of the six scenarios lasted three hours and all were different from last year's exercise, said Tech. Sgt. Shawn Petro, a bioenvironmental engineering instructor and in charge of logistics for the exercise. One scenario was designed to test participants' capabilities to assess the health risk to an installation victimized by an unleashed chemical weapon.
"The vehicle-born improvised explosive device scenario was actually a (so-called) 'dirty bomb' that had detonated and caused casualties," Sergeant Petro said.
There were also two head-to-head competitions where teams had to identify a chemical and biological sample within time limits. Teams also participated in a TV "Jeopardy" show-style quiz that tested their chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear knowledge.
"What was different this year is that we included civil engineer emergency management members," Sergeant Petro said. "We brought into the exercise the whole partnership with our emergency management responders. They help us identify hazards and are our base counterparts when responding to emergencies."
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by Rudy Purificato
311th Human Systems Wing