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Nevada Air National Guard’s homeland response force prepares for inspection

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

Approximately two-hundred Airmen and twenty-five vehicles from the Nevada Air National Guard’s CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) and JISCC (Joint Incident Site Communications Capability) traveled to the Regional Public Safety Training Center April 17-21, 2017 to prepare for their annual inspection which is scheduled for June.

The CERFP team has done these types of exercises and inspections since 2011 and the 152nd Communications Flight’s JISCC team began participating in these exercises two years ago.

In the event of a natural, or manmade, disaster, the CERFP team can be activated by the governor. The approximately two-hundred members are broken down by function into several groups: some will do decontamination (“DECON”) of civilians, some will do DECON for the medical technicians that may become patients working long work hours in a stressful response environment. The patients are also broken down into ambulatory (requiring formal hospital attention) and non-ambulatory. The teams must adhere to strict work/rest cycles, so several personnel handle the overall tracking of information to make certain everyone is taking care of themselves.

Capt. Michael Reed, a physician’s assistant, who works in a pain management clinic for his civilian job, said that he’s able to get a lot of trauma training throughout the year with all of the CERFP requirements.

“It’s different, it’s kind of exciting at times, it’s a lot of fun but it’s very difficult and challenging at the same time,” he mentioned.

While the CERFP is training to improve their ability to respond quickly and proficiently in the event of a disaster, the JISCC is providing all of the communications for that training.

Senior Airman David Almada, a member of the 152nd Communications Flight’s JISCC team, had his first taste of this type of exercise and said that the team of 6 were able to quickly set-up their part. They provide the Department of Defense (DoD) network, commercial internet, telephone and radio communication capability.

“By standards we have a ninety minute set-up but we usually do it in far less time. Right now we were operational in under sixty minutes.”

This type of exercise takes airmen and soldiers out of their offices to do real hands-on training.

Almada said, “It’s amazing, to get some good physical labor in and it’s pretty fast paced, it’s demanding, but also very satisfying.”