NEWS | April 5, 2018

Reserve Firefighters Tackle Aircraft Burn Trainer

By Capt Jinny Lang 4th Combat Camera Squadron

Firefighters with the 315th Civil Engineer Flight stepped out of the firehouse and into a fire during the March Air Force Reserve drill weekend at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. The team conducted aircraft live-fire training, with newer members taking the lead to gain familiarity with equipment and tactics. 

“Hands on training is absolutely critical in our career field,” said Master Sgt. Trent Buzille, assistant chief of health & safety. “The ability to practice skills learned in a classroom setting is paramount to developing muscle memory, good technique, and safe habits that equip our Airmen for a long and successful career.”

The team approached an aircraft burn trainer rigged with propane gas that is ignited by a control tower nearby. They circled the simulator, suppressing the fire with water from firetrucks, before moving to interior fire suppression. It’s a unique setup that gives the Airmen valuable training on circumstances they may face in the military.

Airman 1st Class Hernain Garcia has been with the unit just six months. He appreciates how this training makes him better able to respond to real-world scenarios.

“This training is crucial for us and the safety of our aircrew,” Garcia said. “This training helps us determine how effective we are as a team and allows us to get feedback and make corrections of any issues that were seen during the exercise.”

This was the first time the team had been together in a while since the majority of the unit just completed a six-month deployment. According to Buzille, it was the perfect way to jump back in. “Live fire training is always good for morale; firefighters like to fight fire.”

By combining classroom training with live fire experience, and relying on the knowledge of seasoned members, the unit set up their young Airmen up for success.