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.