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North Carolina Air National Guard heightens readiness during expeditionary skills rodeo

More than 100 Airmen gathered inside a hanger at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, to receive hands-on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training along with self-aid buddy care during the 145th Airlift Wing’s Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo training, Sept. 13, 2015. This training is used by Airmen who are deploying or preparing for inspections. These skills make up the foundation necessary for all Airmen to function effectively in non-conventional hostile environments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

More than 100 Airmen gathered inside a hanger at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, to receive hands-on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training along with self-aid buddy care during the 145th Airlift Wing’s Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo training, Sept. 13, 2015. This training is used by Airmen who are deploying or preparing for inspections. These skills make up the foundation necessary for all Airmen to function effectively in non-conventional hostile environments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jedediah Williams and Airman First Class, James Saulnier, members of the 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Small Air Terminal, don mission-oriented protective posture gear during Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo training held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Sept. 13, 2015. This training is used by Airmen who are deploying or preparing for inspections. These skills make up the foundation necessary for all Airmen to function effectively in non-conventional hostile environments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jedediah Williams and Airman First Class, James Saulnier, members of the 145th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Small Air Terminal, don mission-oriented protective posture gear during Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo training held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Sept. 13, 2015. This training is used by Airmen who are deploying or preparing for inspections. These skills make up the foundation necessary for all Airmen to function effectively in non-conventional hostile environments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ronald Hardison, a member of the 145th Airlift Wing, Emergency Management team, gives a hands-on demonstration of a post attack reconnaissance team’s mission with unexploded ordinances during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015, in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. A par team’s main objectives are to identify UXOs, chemical agent detection and self-aid and buddy care. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ronald Hardison, a member of the 145th Airlift Wing, Emergency Management team, gives a hands-on demonstration of a post attack reconnaissance team’s mission with unexploded ordinances during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015, in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. A par team’s main objectives are to identify UXOs, chemical agent detection and self-aid and buddy care. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Cori Pope, a member of the 145th Airlift Wing, Emergency Management team, gives a hands-on demonstration of special m-8 and 9 chemical detection papers during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015 in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The detection paper alerts members to any fallen and still lingering chemicals that may be in the area during and after a chemical attack. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Cori Pope, a member of the 145th Airlift Wing, Emergency Management team, gives a hands-on demonstration of special m-8 and 9 chemical detection papers during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015 in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The detection paper alerts members to any fallen and still lingering chemicals that may be in the area during and after a chemical attack. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Noah Burgess, education and training coordinator for the 145th Mission Support Group, gives a hands-on demonstration of tourniquet application during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015, in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Nearly 100 NCANG Airmen learned from Burgess and a team of instructors about safe-aid and buddy care during the training which also included actions like treating for shock, patient transportation and how to recognize various ailments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Noah Burgess, education and training coordinator for the 145th Mission Support Group, gives a hands-on demonstration of tourniquet application during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015, in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Nearly 100 NCANG Airmen learned from Burgess and a team of instructors about safe-aid and buddy care during the training which also included actions like treating for shock, patient transportation and how to recognize various ailments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

Members of the North Carolina Air National Guard, work together at one of eight stations set up for training during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015, in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. These Airmen learned basic self-aid and buddy care tactics such as detection of breathing and treatment for shock during the training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

Members of the North Carolina Air National Guard, work together at one of eight stations set up for training during the Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo, held Sept. 13, 2015, in a hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. These Airmen learned basic self-aid and buddy care tactics such as detection of breathing and treatment for shock during the training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs/Released)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Gas masks went on, simulated injuries were mended and tourniquets were put in place as over 100 Airmen participated in an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo during September's Unit Training Assembly (UTA) at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Sept. 13, 2015.

"Every three years, Airmen are required to have expeditionary skills training including ATSO (Ability to Survive and Operate), CBRN ( Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) and self-aid buddy care," said Master Sgt. Noah Burgess, 145th Force Support Squadron, base education and training. "The goal for conducting this rodeo is to refresh these skills that are necessary so our Airman are ready to deploy anywhere in the world," said Burgess.

Airmen arrived for training with all Individual Protective Equipment (IPE) and their Airmen's Manual for reference. Carrying their Airman's Manual during this training was essential as situations were played out including how to react when exposed to nerve agents, how to use their decontamination kit and how to implement contamination avoidance techniques in case of CBRN attacks. Airmen also had to be able to recognize unexploded ordnances (UXO's).

During this training each Airmen inspects their gas mask and demonstrates donning their IPE in all Mission-Oriented Protective Postures (MOPP) levels from MOPP Level Ready to MOPP Level Four.

Staff Sgt. Mark Fow, 145th CBRN specialist, said that one of the most important parts of the training is making sure that our Airmen know how to don and doff the new M-50 gas mask and protective suit. "It's important for students to be able to put their protective equipment on properly; they cannot pass unless they demonstrate this to instructors," said Fow.

Eight stations were set up in the hanger providing each Airman the opportunity to participate in hands-on basic lifesaving training scenarios, from dressing wounds and applying tourniquets to establishing breathing airways on simulated patients. All instructions and training were given by base medical and emergency management personnel. 

The ANG Expeditionary Skills Rodeo enhances the readiness and skills needed to meet the challenges of an expeditionary force. This training is used by Airmen who are deploying or preparing for inspections. These skills make up the foundation necessary for all Airmen to function effectively in non-conventional hostile environments.

Master Sgt. Rebecca Tongen, who is the Installation Emergency Manager for the 145th Airlift Wing, stated that as instructors, most know that it is impossible for a student to remember EVERYTHING that is taught. Therefore if a student comes to training and learns even just a few things, the training has been successful.  Ultimately the goal is to teach students something they didn't know or remind them of something they have forgotten.

"It is not just about meeting a requirement," said Burgess, "It's about how the skills and knowledge obtained during this training may someday help save someone's life."