Preparing for all possibilities

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Pryzbylek, a 354th civil engineer squadron (CES) explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team member, holds a simulated unexploded ordnance, while Staff Sgt. Cody Miller, a 354th CES EOD team leader, photographs it’s markings during Operation Merlin Wing, May 5, 2017 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. EOD uses photos of markings on explosives to help them identify what measures must be taken to ensure safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Pryzbylek, a 354th civil engineer squadron (CES) explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team member, holds a simulated unexploded ordnance, while Staff Sgt. Cody Miller, a 354th CES EOD team leader, photographs it’s markings during Operation Merlin Wing, May 5, 2017 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. EOD uses photos of markings on explosives to help them identify what measures must be taken to ensure safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Stefanie Nakoneczny-Wood, a 354th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, works radio control for Operation Merlin Wing, May 5, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During the exercise, Nakoneczny-Wood coordinated directions for both Air Force and Army units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Stefanie Nakoneczny-Wood, a 354th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman, works radio control for Operation Merlin Wing, May 5, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During the exercise, Nakoneczny-Wood coordinated directions for both Air Force and Army units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher)

A U.S. Army M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle, from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, drives down a road during Operation Merlin Wing, May 5, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Operation Merlin Wing was a joint exercise between Air Force and Army chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense units, which also incorporated Air Force explosive ordnance disposal teams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher)

A U.S. Army M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle, from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, drives down a road during Operation Merlin Wing, May 5, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Operation Merlin Wing was a joint exercise between Air Force and Army chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense units, which also incorporated Air Force explosive ordnance disposal teams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Eric M. Fisher)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Members of the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management flight, the Air National Guard, and Army personnel participated in a joint training exercise May 5, 2017.

Operation Merlin Wing tested readiness for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear defense and explosive ordnance disposal. It also highlighted the different techniques employed between the Air Force and Army.

“Exercises like these show Airmen how the Army treats chemical environments in a wartime situation, which is helpful in a joint environment,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Kirby, the 354th CES noncommissioned officer in charge of emergency management.

In addition to teaching Airmen, it’s also an opportunity to expose Soldiers to different techniques.

“It was good to see the Army and Air Force combined missions,” said Sgt. Brandon Arthur, from the1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. “In the future, if we have to work together, we’ll have a better understanding of each other’s capabilities and how to use them.”

In some cases CBRN agents can be delivered with explosive munitions. In those cases, EOD would take part in ensuring proper care is taken with the ordnance.

“EOD plays a big role in the CBRN world,” said Kirby. “In case they’re required to respond to an incident involving CBRN agents, it’s good for them to train for it so they’re well prepared.”

Joint exercises like Operation Merlin Wing develop comradery between sister services and improves their overall ability to use each other’s resources to accomplish the mission.

“I would like to work with the Air Force again, to get further training and education for our new Soldiers that come into the platoon,” said Arthur.

Ultimately these exercises ensure that military members are prepared to respond to dangerous situations at a moment’s notice.