Emergency responders test skills during All Hazards

| June 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Soldiers with the 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Ordnance Disposal Battalion (EOD), 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command perform decontamination training during an All Hazards Full-Scale Exercise June 7, at Area-X, here. The AHFSE is a training exercise the CBRN Soldiers participated in, which tested their skills and response to a notional incident and was part of a two-day exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs
8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Various emergency responders, along with Soldiers from the 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Ordnance Disposal Battalion (EOD), 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, tested their emergency response training during the All Hazards Full-Scale Exercise (AHFSE), here, at Area-X, June 7.

When responding to an incident or crisis, first responders have one chance to get it right. Conducting critical training exercises such as the AHFSE enables the various first responders from the different organizations who must come together to improve their skills and to learn each other’s capabilities, while improving response times, streamlining processes and enhancing interagency relationships.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Soldiers with the 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Ordnance Disposal Battalion (EOD), 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command take a notional chemical sample from a chemical spill during an All Hazards Full-Scale Exercise June 7, at Area-X, here. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill, 8th MP Bde. Public Affairs, 8th TSC)

Incident Commander Kevin Ramos, battalion chief of Operations with the Federal Fire Department in Honolulu, said learning to work together, understanding each others’ tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), and knowing what assets each element brings to the table is key to responding to an incident or crisis.

“This exercise was particularly important for us because we have never had the chance to work with the 71st Chem. Co. before. We don’t know what their capabilities are, and they don’t know what ours are,” said Ramos.

He added, “The more that we get to train with these companies that may come on scene when we request them, the quicker and cleaner our responses will be.”

On-site for the training was Sgt. 1st Class Courtney Drayton, a platoon sergeant with 71st Chem. Co.

“It was a good learning opportunity for our Soldiers who received a lot of hands-on training,” said Drayton. “They were able to see how responding to an event like this would work in a real-world mission.”

Drayton stressed, “It’s very important that the Soldiers get these skills under their belts, so that when we are faced with real-world missions, they know exactly how to handle it.”

This year’s exercise consisted of three different objectives: Locate and rescue victims trapped inside a collapsed building; identify, contain and clean up a suspicious chemical spill; and contain and clean up a petroleum spill.

“It went well. Our unified command with the police, the 71st, with the (Directorate) of Public Works and all of the other agencies that came out fit perfectly,” said Ramos about the AHFSE.

Ramos added, “Obviously we can always improve, and we have already committed to training more with the 71st, so that our responses can be better in the future.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *