WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing tested their expeditionary skills Aug. 28-29 at the War Fighters Training Area here.
Following two days of equipment issue and briefings, 129 Airmen from across the 88th ABW spent two days in the field for Base Expeditionary Skills Training, led by the 788th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Emergency Management Office.
The primary focus was to refresh each Airman’s training in how to survive and operate in a deployed environment.
The Airmen, ranging in rank from Colonel to Airman, received a day in the field of refresher training in weapons skills, attack response actions, post-attack reconnaissance, self-aid and buddy care, casualty transport in conventional and chemical environments, identifying unexploded ordnance, contamination avoidance and control, as well as donning and operating in mission oriented protective posture or MOPP gear, for prolonged periods.
For the weapons skills portion, Airmen had the opportunity to get hands-on with the M-4 carbine.
“The M-4 bit is actually pretty cool. It lets people pretty much go back to basic training and learn how disassemble the weapon, and reassemble it,” said Airman 1st Class Kalil Petties, 88th Force Support Squadron. “It’s good practice to learn the M-4 and be proficient at it. If your weapon ever jams, then you can take it apart, and fix it anyway you need to. It’s like riding a bike, honestly.”
Disassembling weapons was like riding a bike again, according to Airman David Martinez-Carrasco, 88th Communications Group. “It was pretty fun. It’s been over a year since I last worked on a weapon, which was the M-16. Now doing the M-4 it was pretty fun, and brought back good memories. I hope this training helps people in future deployments,” he said.
The second day of field training was more scenario-based training, with multiple events occurring, requiring a focus on casualty transport in a post-attack environment, while wearing MOPP gear.
“The Self-Aid and Buddy Care was a lot of carries that I did not expect, a lot of ones that I could see being very useful in the field. It was a good little training experience,” said Petties.
The next iteration of Base Expeditionary Skills Training will be Sept. 11-12.