JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
Personnel assigned to the 305th Maintenance Squadron, 87th Operational Medical Response Squadron, and Office of Emergency Management participated in a four-day training exercise to learn and practice radiological contamination detection and decontamination safety techniques on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., on Feb. 16, 2023.
The training, dubbed “Radiant Phoenix," is an initiative launched by Air Mobility Command in partnership with Alliance Solutions Group to train Airmen in skills and tools to receive, survey, and launch aircraft that have been exposed to radiological contamination.
“This is the first time that this is being done [here]," said Maj. Phillip Hoyt, 87th OMRS environmental engineering flight commander. “This training allows us to operate in any environment and to maximize sorties. If we can keep our maintainers safe, then we can continue to turn jets quickly. If we keep our port dogs safe, they can continue to download cargo quickly and efficiently. This training helps make the Mobility Air Force’s mission happen.”
The training included a classroom session, tabletop exercise, and two-day hands-on training where Airmen and civilian employees were able to apply their knowledge and skills in a simulated environment.
“A lot of the time, these sorts of things are done conceptually, but here we are able to apply the lessons from the classroom to specific airframes," Hoyt said. “What this training is also doing is helping us forecast hazards for commanders so that they can be proactive with their mission generation decisions in the future.”
Airmen were put in training scenarios where they were tasked with safely surveying a KC-46 and C-17 which saw potential radiation contamination, as well as safely decontaminating personnel and cargo.
“We were hired by AMC to do the checklist development, building appendixes to concept of operations, and figuring out how we were going to build this training," said Robert Campbell, Alliance Solutions Group chief executive officer. “Right now, we’re going out to bases so that we could teach people how to execute these ops. The main question we were trying to answer is ‘what can we expect in the way of real operations?’”
Personnel were responsible for setting up a contamination control station as well as operating equipment to detect possible radiation contamination like the ADM-300 beta probe, 451P Ion Chamber, and RADeCO Portable Air Sampler.
“It’s all chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, but it’s a new way of making things better and more efficient,” said Hoyt. “This is our part of the Air Force’s transition to the Air Force Force Generation model and it’s very exciting.