Airman provides insight on Camp Corum IG excursion

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Julius Delos Reyes
  • 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Under the 105-degree sweltering sun and dust literally everywhere I looked, I was beginning to wonder if I would survive July 26.

This day, I was assigned to attend an excursion. Excursion ... that's so easy, you might say. However, this is not your ordinary excursion. This training is designed to help Airmen refresh their memories on self aid buddy care, defensive maneuvers and other various skills that are beneficial when deployed. This is the first time I experienced performing a "semi-phase II ORE."

Two days prior to the excursion, my colleague, Airman Stacy Garcia, and I were told that we are going to an Inspector General excursion. We had this gut feeling a little while back that we were going to be tasked to do it, since Col. H. Brent Baker, 95th Air Base Wing commander, mandated that everyone should attend. And we were so right.

My officer sent us to get our chemical suits, boots, shoes and all the other necessary equipment we needed. During office breaks, Airman Garcia and I would try to remember the "MOPP dance" from basic military training -- "MOPP dancing" while singing the "MOPP song."

At 7:45 a.m., the 95th Security Forces Squadron began teaching us defensive maneuvers. I learned it is crucial to watch my area of responsibility so the whole team can move on and hinder any point of attacks. It's all about teamwork. Someone has to look for "enemies" at the front and the rear. People at the middle section should look at their field of responsibility, from the right or left.

We ran, walked and dodged both "bombs" and "enemies." During the course, there were four in our group who "died." I was one of them. Because we were stricken with the "tunnel-vision" syndrome, we just focused on the enemies in front not realizing that we have an enemy hiding at the bush in the right side, which was our area of responsibility.

Take two. We did it again but this time no one died. We were hustling to our feet, low crawling and taking cover. Needless to say, it was smoother than the first one.

At that moment, I realized that if this was a real situation, I would have died because I wasn't observing my area of responsibility. There are no take twos when deployed because when the time comes that someone shoots at me, my life is gone. There are no security forces personnel to teach me when faced with the real situation. It's just me and the enemy, and the difference between me and them is just a split second of whose hand can pull the trigger first.

It is very important to know these things. Just think of it this way, you are not only saving your buddies, you are also saving yourself. You are learning this stuff because if you keep your fellow troops alive, they can save you. It's about the whole team.

I figured this is one way to actually get a glimpse of what a real scenario would look like -- I am guessing it's a lot harder during the real one.

We also had a refresher on Self Aid Buddy Care from the 95th Medical Group, with biological and chemical attacks, and weapons training from the 95th SFS. We were also explained a new and easier version of searching and reporting unexploded ordnance from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Division.

Through the end of the day, I was exhausted. As I drove away from Camp Corum, it made me realize that having an extraordinary excursion like this for all Airmen is important not only for the global war on terrorism, but also saving their lives. After I was done reflecting on the important stuff, I also realized I that I stunk, had a headache, and I really needed to shower three or four times to get all the dust off of me.