Students receive hands on CBRNE training
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 40 students from Osan High School visited the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight Dec. 14 with their chemistry class to expand their knowledge of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive defense, detection equipment and the protective gear. The field trip was coordinated to provide a hands-on instructional lesson about chemical warfare.
"The chemistry students had been learning about chemical warfare agents over the past couple weeks, and the visit was an opportunity for them to get hands on with some of the detection equipment and to learn about CBRNE defense," said Senior Airman Daniel Jackson, 51st CES emergency management journeyman. "We provided a variety of displays showcasing CBRNE defense capability as well as a classroom run down on CBRNE agents, how they work and how we defend against them."
The students were informed about different chemicals, and how to detect and protect from exposure. Throughout the day, they were able to use joint chemical agent detectors as well as chemical vapor detectors and they practiced sampling procedures and were taught about evidence collections.
The class also had the opportunity to run through a Mission-Oriented Protective Posture exercise and decontamination, where they fully dressed in personal protective gear to include their M52 Joint Service Chemical Survivability Mask, the mask issued to dependants here at Osan. With the help of their Chemistry teacher, the students were able to connect the concepts learned in the classroom with the real life applications used by CBRNE experts.
"I never thought of myself as a scientist when I went to high school," said Shaw Rast, Osan High School chemistry teacher. "It wasn't until I became a chemical, biological, radiological warfare specialist in the U.S. Navy that I really found an interest in the sciences, which became my inspiration for my major in college. Teaching high school chemistry at Osan has given me an amazing opportunity to integrate my subject with the profession I once had. In a classroom these subjects are taught in isolation and aren't really connected to anything, but if they can see it and connect it with an actual job, it sparks a new interest."
The day concluded with a Meals Ready to Eat lunch to complete the military career experience.
"In class we went over slides and information on chemicals and their makeup, the development of suits and protective gear, and the history of chemical warfare," said Eric Chipps, Osan High School student. "It's really cool seeing all the gas masks and the equipment they use. It looks like it would be a fun field to get into. I have a greater understanding of how difficult it is to do and prepare for chemical warfare. It makes me feel protected to know we have people here who know what to do if anything happens."