VOLK FIELD, Wis.
“Those are critical seconds in a life and death situation,” says 1st Lt. Joseph Meller, extraction executive officer of the 836th Sapper Company from Kingsville, Texas.
The seconds he is referring to, are the seconds it takes to respond to a victim during an emergency.
The Patriot Exercise 2010 brought units from the Texas Air National Guard and Texas Army National Guard to participate in a domestic operation exercise at Volk Field, Wis. on July 15. Servicemembers from the 149th Fighter Wing, 436th Chemical Company and 836th Engineer Company made up the 6th Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear, and Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package team. Guardmembers were also augmented to participate on the team from the 136th Airlift Wing and 147th Reconnaissance Wing.
The scenario required Airmen and Soldiers to respond to a contamination incident that resulted after a train crashed into a bus causing multiple causalities and hazardous materials in the area. As a result, the CERFP teams worked together to search for, evacuate, decontaminate and treat victims of the accident.
“I hope we accomplish quality training,” said Meller, “and find our weak points so we can establish those and work on them.”
Soldiers from the 836th Sapper Company and the 436th Chemical Company donned personal protective equipment with powered air purifying respirators to enter the simulated contaminated area to find and rescue victims. After finding the victims, Soldiers directed them through a decontamination and redress area, where harmful chemicals were washed off and then prepared for transport. Airmen transported the casualties to another tent where members of the 149th Fighter Wing, 136th Airlift Wing, and 147th Reconnaissance Wing treated their wounds in an emergency room/intensive care unit and surgical area.
Lt. Col. Greg Perry, medical commander for the exercise from the 136th Airlift Wing said the Patriot Exercise gives servicemembers an opportunity to put individual skills to use and see how they fit with other agencies.
The Patriot Exercise 2010 allows these Texas Guardsmen as well as others the unique opportunity to combine the various elements of CERFP into a large scale scenario response.
The Exercise involving the Texas CERFP team is only one aspect of the training going on during the Patriot Exercise 2010. The Patriot Exercise continues with the overseas contingency operation exercise beginning July 18.