162nd Airmen participate in first response course

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Members of the Arizona Air National Guard partnered with other agencies for the Counter-CBRN All-Hazard Management Response (CAMR) course and full-scale exercise August 24- 27.

The course is designed to provide Airmen with the ability to respond quickly and effectively to a WMD/CBRN attack on or off an installation.

During the four-day training instructors provided up to date information regarding hazardous threats.  The instruction included scenarios and table top exercises to test participants on what to do in the event of a chemical, radiological, or biological disaster.

“The program is designed to give participants an understanding of chemical, radiological, and biological hazards,” said lead instructor Jeff Borkowski.  “Everyone on an installation needs to be involved and work together to facilitate the response in order to achieve the proper outcome.”

The first and second day of training provide insight on how to handle intentionally released chemical and gamma radiation on or off an installation.  The third day challenges the participants to plan and collaborate with other agencies to contain hazardous chemical or biological materials.

“We like to bring outside base assets for the training because some of the problems that occur on base can’t be handled just by the base assets alone,” said Borkowski.  “Secondly, we like to let the outside agencies know about our assets on base so that we can be of service to them when they need us.”

The final day of training is a Capstone exercise to enhance the lessons learned throughout the week. The ability to respond to an incident creates many variables and the experience is invaluable to those who participate. A review will be conducted after the week of training where strengths and areas for improvement will be identified.

“The most important thing to take away from this training course is the ability for a base to work together and solve a problem they didn’t realize they had the capability of solving prior to their training,” said Borkowski.