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Training exercises focuses on ‘all hazards’

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Firefighters, medical specialists and other emergency responders cleared a smoke-filled building at Selfridge Air National Guard Base Friday in a day-long training exercise. In the process, they rescued several mannequins from room filled with "toxic chemicals." At least one of the dummies did not appear to survive.

The exercise, part of a four-day training class for the 127th Wing and some related entities at Selfridge, was part of a routine Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Environmental / All Hazards Response course at the base for several dozen Michigan Air National Guard Airmen in key positions around the base. After three days of classroom training, the Airmen in the class conducted a full-scale exercise, complete with a smoke machine creating a simulated chemical cloud in a building and the mannequins playing the role of injured personnel. As the mannequins were pulled from the building by base firefighters, decontamination efforts quickly began.

"The training is designed to identify the capabilities that exist on the base and bring the key players together in one scenario," said Jeff Borkowski, the lead instructor for the class. A government contractor brought in a team of a half-dozen experts in various disciplines to lead the training and then create and critique the live exercise. "We incorporate fire, medical, emergency management and the command and control aspect and put them all to the test.

"The goal is to identify areas where additional training would be beneficial," he said.

While base firefighters and emergency management specialists were dealing with the smoke-filled building, medical technicians - and a handful of augmentees drawn from other 127th Wing units - were donning hazardous materials protection suits at the base medical clinic, working through the precautions that would be needed in a real situation.

The All-Hazards training is just one of several such training exercises that has either been taking place at Selfridge or involving Selfridge units. Night helicopter operations were taking place the same week as the All-Hazards training. The following week, the base firefighters will be conducting live-fire training on the base. Elsewhere in the state, Airmen from Selfridge will be participating in several larger exercises focusing on both the Air National Guard's domestic support mission as the state militia and on the ANG's federal war-fighting role.

About the 127th Wing
Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the Michigan Air National Guard's 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command and Air Combat Command operations by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 98th year of continuous military air operations in 2015.