NEWS | March 9, 2017

437th AW tests aircrew chemistry for CBRN operations

By Airman 1st Class Megan Munoz Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Members of the 437th Airlift Wing (AW) are participating in a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) exercise, part two of Exercise Bonny Jack 2017, here, which began March 8.

Exercise Bonny Jack 2017 is a three-part readiness exercise for Joint Base Charleston, which began with a two-day mobility exercise March 1 and 2.

Members of the Active Duty and Reserve airlift squadrons here engaged in the CBRN exercise. Pilots and loadmasters tested their ability to perform preflight checks and load cargo in CBRN gear during the exercise.

“We’re doing this exercise now to identify things that need to be fixed in case of a real world scenario,” said Lt. Col. Jason Morrison, 437th AW inspector general. “Ideally, if we were sending someone to a chemical environment, they would get training before they left and have it fresh in their mind. Depending on the situation, that may or may not be the case.”

The CBRN exercise will culminate with a flight to a simulated chemical location, March 15. Pilots and loadmasters will wear CBRN equipment throughout the duration of the flight. When aircraft fly from a non-chemical environment to a chemical environment, the aircrew wears gas masks, gloves and an intercom system to communicate with each other.

“Anytime we do an exercise I try to make it as real as possible,” said Morrison. “The more simulations you throw in, the less productive it is for the participants. It takes them out of the scenario, trying to figure out what tasks should be done and which ones should be simulated.”

Bonny Jack 2017 will conclude with a large-formation exercise in May. The large-formation exercise coincides with All American Week at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where the 437th AW will practice dropping cargo and paratroopers.