NEWS | March 6, 2018

Airmen sharpen ATSO skills during mobility exercise

By Airman 1st Class Allison Payne Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Airmen with the 437th Airlift Wing and 628th Air Base Wing wrapped up Exercise Bold Eagle March 2, 2018, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Bold Eagle tested JB Charleston’s ability to deploy Airmen at a moment’s notice.

After Airmen were processed and deployed to a simulated location, participants began the Ability to Survive and Operate phase of Bold Eagle. The ATSO portion consisted of refresher Self Aid Buddy Care, Post Attack Reconnaissance, weapons proficiency training and operating in a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environment.

“It’s important for our Airmen to take this training knowledge with them throughout their careers,” said Master Sgt. Heather Howell, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness and emergency management flight superintendent. “The skills are needed to survive and operate in a contingent environment, whether there is a CBRN threat or a weapon threat. It’s crucial for Airmen to respond to those threats by executing our training as proficiently as possible.”

Airmen were required to perform their mission essential duties while receiving unforeseen scenario injects, reacting to simulated alarm condition changes and rapidly donning personal protective equipment.

Airman 1st Class Bryan Bass, 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution specialist, said his experience operating in the different scenarios was challenging but gave him perspective.

“We simulated refueling aircraft while in a contaminated area,” said Bass. “We began by getting in position with the aircraft and our equipment. Once in place, we simulated refueling the plane while wearing our Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear. The exercise was for us to practice readiness and being on top of our skills to make the fuels mission possible.”

Howell said she hopes Airmen are able to reflect back on the exercise and continue learning and improving their skills. Master Sgt. Rocky Sasse, 628th LRS wing inspection team member, agreed and found the exercise to be very beneficial.

“We can easily tell people how to do things and write regulations and guides but until you actually do it, you really won’t get it,” said Sasse. “Now that they’re feeling it, touching it and going through the motions, they realize how important it is to check their gear beforehand and why they need to follow how a processing line goes.”

Wing leadership was proud of the participants for their performance and effort during this exercise.

“I just want to say ‘hats-off’ to the entire joint base team,” said Col. Jimmy Canlas, 437th AW commander. “We couldn’t have done this without the teamwork among the Airmen. The exercise was completed on a compressed timeline and, without the hard work of our Airmen, none of this would have been possible. I hope everyone is able to walk away with a new appreciation of the skillsets we addressed, as well as some innovative ideas for how we could do this even better in the future.”