Oregon Air National Guard conducts expeditionary skills rodeo
By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 142FW/PA
/ Published May 05, 2015
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- - Nearly 300 Airmen participated in readiness training during the April and May Unit Assembly Training (UTA) periods here, encompassing preparation for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRNE) defense along with self-aid buddy care provisions.
The Air Expeditionary Skills Rodeo conducted over the two UTA weekends allowed members of the 142nd Fighter Wing, 116th Air Control Squadron and 125th Special Tactics Squadron to regenerate required skills necessary for global deployments and emergency operations at any time.
With tents and training stations set up near the athletic fields on base, Airman were able to get focused training from medical and installation emergency personnel in a condensed environment. Each station allowed the participants to run through training scenarios, from dressing wounds to establishing breathing airways, patient transport and using chemical protection gear.
"Everyone will get this training every three years, allowing knowledge and awareness and the hands-on aspect critical to mission readiness," said Chief Master Sgt. John McIlvain, 142nd Civil Engineer Squadron installation emergency manager. "The hands-on part is probably the most important because these are perishable skills and this [training] flexes that muscle memory."
The overall two-hour training period was carefully designed, allowing groups to train both one-on-one and in smaller teams, refreshing their basic survival skills. The separate stations improved the flow of information, breaking up the exercise for focused attention and retention.
The CBRNE portion of the rodeo featured classroom instruction outside under a pavilion with video presentations and hands-on demonstrations.
"It's one-stop shopping in a sense. Everyone gets up to speed in two hours of work with all the preparation necessary for deployment in both chemical and biological situations, and with self-aid and buddy care," said McIlvain.
With tents and work areas located with a well-established arrangement, the flow from station to station was developed to keep all the Airmen moving in the two-hour window.
"With the eight separate stations, each piece touches the overall lifesaving skills needed in a deployed environment," said Master Sgt. Mike Brown, 142nd Fighter Wing self-aid and buddy care advisor.
The goal for Airmen is to provide immediate care until the casualty can be seen by a medical technician or doctor. Stopping the bleeding or establishing breathing and then transporting a victim were refreshed at the different stations.
"We're just trying to give the basic knowledge and skills to hopefully save someone's life," said Brown.
Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Provinsal, a medic assigned to the 116 ACS, noticed that each group was fully engaged in the new rodeo approach.
"Before we would have large groups just sitting in a classroom with not much interaction with what was demonstrated," she said. "It's much easier to go from station to station. Teaching hands-on is better because we can engage with everyone coming through."
The rodeo is scheduled to be held at different times each year. By training approximately 300-400 Airmen annually, all members can stay fully qualified every three years.