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AFMC Command News

All hazards approach: 78th CES Emergency Management Flight prepares for disaster response

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • Robins Air Force Base Public Affairs

Robins Air Force Base is no stranger to training. The 78th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight provides essential training that helps build the framework for a prepared base and community.

“A lot of people make the mistake that our sole role is to teach Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear class,” said Senior Airman Jameson Tate, 78th CES Emergency Management Flight Emergency Management Training journeyman. “But we actually prepare, prevent, mitigate, recover, and respond to any natural disasters or CBRN events.”

The flight provides essential training, protection and rapid response both locally and globally.

“We protect our communities before, during and after emergencies,” said Master Sgt. David Rodriguez, 78th CES Emergency Management Flight superintendent. “Our community is typically the base we’re assigned to and other surrounding communities and partners.”

The scope and nature of an emergency can degrade a community and puts resources and their people at risk.

“Our Mobile Emergency Operations Center is a Federal Emergency Management Administration-type capability that allows us to mirror the capabilities of our facility Emergency Operations Center nearby an incident scene, such as an aircraft crash,” said Rodriguez. “We can operate in the field indefinitely to provide the incident commander with resource support to mitigate any incident.”

The flight has eight Headquarter Air Force mission assigned areas.

“We also maintain and train on joint service equipment, which allows us to conduct sensitive-site exploitation and assessments of enemy weapons of mass destruction capabilities,” said Rodriguez. “The flight can provide presumptive-positive indication of enemy use of WMD to the combatant commander and senior National Military Command Structure.”

Their mission requires emergency management technicians to have a variety of skills.

“We use a variety of equipment to both detect CBRN hazards and also decontaminate and eliminate them," said Rodriguez. “It’s extremely important for all emergency management technicians to be proficient with all this equipment due to the wide array of hazards we cover.”

Whether the emergency is natural or man-made the team trains for a variety of situations.

"The Emergency Management Flight is vital to any base and warfighter because it is through our guidance that a base is able to defend themselves and recover from natural disasters, CBRN threats and man-made events,” said Senior Airman Stephanie Runge, 78th CES Emergency Management Flight Operations Management journeymen. “We have an Installation Emergency Management Plan that compiles all the hazards and physical threats to a base and each unit’s plans, procedures and checklists on how to deal with them.”

Rodriguez agreed.

“We train both military and civilians to help meet our goal of a safe community at Robins Air Force Base, but our military receives additional training to survive and operate during war or contingencies where these warfighters may be sent into harm’s way,” said Rodriguez.