Emergency Management: Prepared for any hazard
Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- When disaster strikes an Air Force base, whether a typhoon, major aircraft crash, or an enemy attack, Airmen have to adapt to keep the mission going.
Emergency management specialists at Kunsan Air Base develop plans to make sure Airmen here will keep the mission going, no matter what happens.
“The goals for emergency managers at Kunsan are to assist in preparing, training, and responding with the base populace for a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incident,” said Senior Airman Matthew McDonough 8th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman. “In addition, we also assist in responding and mitigating natural disasters and major accidents on the base and surrounding areas.”
The Emergency management team stays busy by making sure everyone is up to date on all CBRN training.
"Keeping every Airman trained and ready is extremely important," said Master Sgt. Daniel Raimondo, 8th CES emergency management superintendent. “The mission of the Emergency Management flight is to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from all hazards."
Emergency management prepares for CBRN threats by doing combined training with a variety of the flights on base.
“In all fairness, we can’t do it without the partnership we have with our Republic of Korea air force counter parts, and the support received from the bio-environmental team, and the 33 personnel from the 8th Communications Squadron which composes our emergency management support team,” said Raimondo.
During exercises, emergency management oversees the emergency management support teams and shelter management teams. The EMSTs are responsible for checking liquid detection points in each chemical zone for contaminated M8 chemical detection paper. The SMTs process people entering secure facilities and contamination control areas.
For both real-world and exercise scenarios, the emergency managers use a large arsenal of technical equipment when responding. From joint chemical agent detectors which identify the type of contaminant to radiation level detectors, the equipment is vital in pinpointing the hazard.
Since work must continue while wearing the bulky mission-oriented protective posture gear, figuring out quickly where the contaminants are is vital.
"Being aware of chemicals' locations and strength helps us to minimize personnel exposure to chemical agents," said McDonough. "Split MOPP operations and exercises provide the ability for members to wear the appropriate level of IPE to continue operations in a particular zone."
This capability ensures an increased level of execution of mission essential tasks.