Ellsworth AFB exercise: simulated chemical weapons & victims - KOTA Territory News

Ellsworth AFB exercise: simulated chemical weapons & victims


One man groaned with what looked like glass coming out of his forehead. It seemed real, but it wasn't.

Eventually airmen and medics from Ellsworth Air Force Base are deployed, so they make sure they are ready for deployment with simulated realistic readiness exercises.

Thursday, the airmen had to react like their bunker was being threatened by a chemical weapon and that some of their team members got hurt. The victims weren't really hurt, they had fake blood and fake cuts, but the exercise was real. The airmen had to figure out what was wrong while being dressed head to toe in combat gear – including a gas mask.

All of this was to get ready for deployment. "Basically it makes things a lot easier over there if we're practicing consistently over here," said Jeremy Miller, a master sergeant.

The airmen were expected to remain cool and collected, while in the worst of circumstances. "We need the airmen to display a positive attitude and a sense of urgency. We like to call it smart hustle. Fast is, there's such a thing as too fast. It causes errors," said Miller.

Miller says the exercise isn't just to test the men and women. "The exercise is more than just a test, it's practice. If you can nail it here you're going to nail it deployed," said Miller.

Airmen weren't the only ones practicing Thursday. Air Force medics also got some hands on training, tending to the fake victims. "This type of exercise where it's very concentrated and it goes through the course of a week, is very important for us because when we deploy, this is the type of environment that we're going to be living in," said Susan Pietrykowski, commander of the 28th medical group.

This exercise continues Friday.






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