FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. –
When most people think of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense, thoughts of donning Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear immediately come to mind, but there’s more to CBRN than sweating in a fogged-up gas mask for hours.
“A lot of people know us by CBRN, but our official name is emergency management, so we kind of have three functions,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Adams, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron EM operations noncommissioned officer in charge. “One is CBRN where we’re teaching the classes, then we have hazardous material response where we actually get in our hazmat suits, then our third function is the emergency management function.”
Emergency management is where they actually plan for and prepare for disasters, taking care of their Emergency Operations Center and Unit Control Center members training, as well as all their wing plans.
“Pretty much 99 percent of our job revolves around training and preparation,” said Adams. “You know, ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst.’”
Fairchild AFB lives by the motto “train like we fight”, so in preparation for the worst, Team Fairchild conducted a Large Readiness Exercise that heavily involved CBRN elements that aren’t typically exercised in this environment.
“This exercise was a little more in-depth CBRN training,” said Adams. “You’re supposed to train for hazards that are in your area, so we’re not as used to these kinds of exercises as places like South Korea or Japan might be.”
Service members must be prepared for any type of emergency. Although Fairchild AFB isn’t in a state of emergency it’s important to maintain a state of readiness which is exactly what emergency management aims to do.