Tennessee National Guard trains to identify hazards in United Kingdom
By Tech Sgt. Daniel Gagnon, 134th Air Refueling Wing
/ Published June 27, 2018
RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom --
Emergency Management personnel from the Tennessee Air National Guard trained on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive equipment while on temporary duty here June 11-22.
"Our job is to ensure that the base can respond to and recover from all hazards and natural disasters," said Master Sgt. Steven Breeden, 134th Air Refueling Wing Emergency Management section manager.
Emergency Management uses varied equipment to detect and neutralize threats, and staying up to date on training as well as calibrating the equipment is time consuming.
“The equipment we are using today is a MultiRAE Pro unit,” said Breeden. “It is used for constant air monitoring.”
Personnel can use the equipment to help identify any gases in an area and determine if it is hazardous to the base populace or not.
The unit is mostly used for testing air in confined spaces, but not limited to it.
“The MultiRAE Pro can use 25 different sensors that each detect different hazards,” said Staff Sgt. John Romines, 134th ARW EM journeyman. “It helps to identify almost any air hazards in a testable area. Six sensors can be used at once.”
The MultiRAE Pro can also detect explosive gases and will inform personnel to evacuate the area.
“We like the flexibility of that,” said Breeden. “This equipment keeps us out of harm’s way, so if there is something in the air that takes all of the oxygen out…it can tell you.”
While on TDY at RAF Mildenhall, the 134th EM personnel had the opportunity to train with their counterparts at the 100th ARW.
“We like the opportunity to work with active-duty [Airmen],” said Breeden. “Their equipment may not be exactly what our equipment is, but it matches up very well. If we deploy downrange, we deploy with active-duty forces, we don’t just deploy with National Guard forces.”
Active duty focuses on wartime situations, but on the Guard side, EM can also focus on domestic operations. If the State calls, the guard answers. Active duty must have a federal request in order to report. For example, if the civil support team (civil entity that responds to CBERNE emergencies) is three hours away from an event, the state could call the ANG to perform the initial response. The guard unit would then transfer the data to the CST when they arrive.
“Active-duty [service members] can’t really do that, said Breeden. “In the state mission we are hazardous materials technicians and when we respond to a contingency we are nuclear, biological and chemical guys. It’s nice to work with active duty in a non-contingency location. We can actually see which equipment works well together. If something ever arises that we can both respond to or recover from, we know how to better work with the active-duty force.” stated Breeden.