EM and Bio undergo training exercise IBERCT

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Multiple 4th Fighter Wing units joined together to accomplish first response training beneficial to maintaining the safety and well-being of Airmen here, June 22-26.

Airmen from the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management flight and 4th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineer flight partnered up to conduct an integrated base emergency response capabilities training exercise, or IBERCT, to help prepare them for real-world scenarios involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats.

"IBERCT is a joint-training adventure designed to hone in response skills from fire and emergency services, emergency management and bioenvironmental," Tech. Sgt. Jessica Clayton, 4th CES emergency management plans section NCO in charge. "It gives us an opportunity to learn together and get hands-on experience integrated as one team."

The exercise consisted of a variety of scenarios across the base that tested the knowledge and responsiveness of the participating agencies. Some scenarios challenged Airmen to safely retrieve simulated hazardous samples in a simulated chemical environment, or to conduct post-action reconnaissance sweeps and undergo decontamination.

"Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear and hazardous material incidents do not happen all the time," Clayton said. "If we need to protect the base during a life-threatening incident, we have to train beforehand to ensure we are ready for the real event.  This training gave us the opportunity to do that."

The weeklong training is performed annually throughout Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command bases. The Alliance Solutions Group Inc., from Newport News, Va., travels to each ACC installation and helps coordinate IBERCT exercises.

"This was a very beneficial exercise supported by ACC because it allowed us to integrate with emergency management to learn each agency's capabilities in the event of an incident," said Senior Airman Elliseo Trujillo, 4th Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineer. "Additionally, it allowed the younger Airmen to apply their training and offered more seasoned Airmen the opportunity to lead under each circumstance."

The multiple scenarios throughout the week strengthened the awareness and execution of the Airmen participating. Clayton said that the knowledge gained from IBERCT is invaluable to their ability to mitigate incidents.

"The training is designed to test our tactics, techniques and procedures as well as validate our checklists, Clayton added. "We learn the latest techniques and how other bases respond.  We incorporate that into our response to ensure we are doing everything properly."

Airmen worked effectively to guarantee tasks were being completed correctly and efficiently. Trujillo said throughout IBERCT everyone had a strong work ethic and high energy level to effectively complete the identification and quantification of human health hazards.

"We got hands-on experience with all of our response equipment and utilized various resources to better assess each scenario and give the incident commander recommendations with confidence," Trujillo said. "I think we did well considering there has been an influx of new faces among both work places. We didn't have much familiarity or rapport in the beginning, but we still were able to effectively come together to accomplish each objective outlined for us."
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