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CBRN instructors prepare Black Knights for upcoming exercise

A woman holds a gas masks and talks to people.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Candace Carrico, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, instructs a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Class at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12, 2019. The CBRN Defense Class instructors added more information on radiological and nuclear devices to prepare Black Knights for the upcoming exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell)

A person puts a filter on a gas mask.

An Airman puts a filter on a gas mask during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Class at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12, 2019. Airmen must take a CBRN Defense Class once every 18 months, and they practice their skills from the class during exercises semiannually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell)

Someone helps someone else put on a CBRN hood.

An Airman in mission oriented protective posture gear assists another Airman with putting on their MOPP gear during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Class at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12, 2019. Airmen learn more about radiological and nuclear hazards in the CBRN Defense Class to prepare them for the upcoming exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell)

People in CBRN gear look at paper.

An Airman in mission-oriented protective posture gear gathers readings from M8 paper during a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense class at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12, 2019. Airmen learn more about radiological and nuclear hazards in the CBRN defense class to prepare them for the upcoming exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell)

A person writes on paper.

An Airmen writes on M8 chemical detection paper during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Class at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12, 2019. Airmen must attend a CBRN Defense Class once every 18 months to enhance their skills on surviving in a contested environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell)

A CBRN patch is on the arm of an Airman.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Candace Carrico, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, observes as Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Class students practice the skills they just learned during a post attack reconnaissance route at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12, 2019. The CBRN Defense Class instructors added more information on radiological and nuclear devices to prepare Black Knight Airmen for the upcoming exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine M. Gruwell)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Twice per year, the 19th Airlift Wing pulls members together to exercise real-world events in a simulated, contested environment. Airmen continue to do their job in supporting and completing the mission while operating in mission-oriented protective posture gear.

Their initial training and know-how on the gear begins long before the exercise does — it begins in the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense class taught by the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight.

The CBRN defense class teaches individuals the ability to survive in a contested environment. Depending on the type of warfare presented, the training allows Airmen to understand the hazards they could face in addition to the correct protective measures to avoid these substances.

“Whatever the type of warfare — chemical agents in the air, biological warfare, or even a radiological or nuclear device — people understand the hazards around them and how to best survive while carrying out operations to complete the mission,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Brewer, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of emergency management plans and operations, and CBRN defense class instructor.

In the past, the classes and exercises have been focused on chemical and biological agents, but in their upcoming November exercise, the Black Knights will be switching it up by enhancing their skills in a simulated-radiological-nuclear environment, which requires a few minor changes to the classes.

“We’re looking at putting a slideshow in the personal support for contingency in-brief for the exercise so if someone needs a refresher from CBRN, we can let them know the ways to protect themselves from radiological and nuclear hazards,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Candace Carrico, 19th CES emergency management journeyman and CBRN defense class instructor.

This slideshow will review the material each Airman recieved the previous year, which contains additional information on protective measures from different radiological and nuclear weapons, such as time, distance and shielding.

The emergency management team hopes the added information to the class will demystify radiation to include the common belief that this sort of warfare is not used today.

“From what we have studied, this kind of warfare is being used,” Brewer said. “It’s important we train so Airmen can protect themselves and their fellow wingmen in the unfortunate case they’re put in a contested environment such as this.”

The CBRN defense class instructors enjoy being able to share their knowledge on the topic with the rest of the 19th AW.

“When that new Airman comes up to you in class with their gear on correctly, you realize they’re understanding the importance of the class, which is my favorite part of teaching it,” Carrico said.

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