19th CES emergency management stands up mask confidence chamber

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isabell A. Nutt
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management flight will begin including mask confidence chamber training as an addition to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defense training on March 14, 2023.

The purpose of the mask confidence chamber is to ensure personnel have an understanding of how to effectively use their protective gear in a CBRN defense scenario.

“Sometimes we have members who come through CBRN class who put on their gear without the intent of it protecting them,” said Staff Sgt. Candace Carrico, 19th CES emergency management flight plans and operations NCOIC. “Putting them through the chamber shows the importance of wearing your gear properly so it protects you from a potential CBRN attack.”

Prior to facilitating the training, instructors will go through a slideshow that covers basic CBRN defense knowledge and each piece of personal protective equipment. They will then walk the class through an inspection of their gear and a general safety briefing.

During the chamber confidence training, students will be instructed to get into Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) level four and line the walls of the building. After an aerosol CS gas, commonly known as tear gas, is sprayed, personnel will be instructed to do head movements to ensure they have a proper seal on their gas mask. They will then break the seal and reapply their masks, demonstrating that they know how to properly clear out their mask.

“We want everyone to understand that this is not meant to be a scare tactic,” Carrico said. “The intent is to help give people confidence in their chem gear. There are fully trained instructors with our personnel at all times, and we’ve taken into account all the proper safety measures.”

Following the beginning of this training, the emergency management flight will offer the chamber as part of their regular CBRN classes every Tuesday. The chamber is open to all LRAFB squadrons as well as their commanders to utilize.

“It’s been a joint effort to get this up and rolling,” said Jeff Sharpmack, 19th CES emergency management flight installation emergency manager. “We hope to see that people become more comfortable and know what to expect in these scenarios.”