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Maj. Stanley Searcy helps teammate Staff Sgt. Rebecca Percy don protective gear during the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear challenge Sept. 28 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Maj. Stanley Searcy helps teammate Staff Sgt. Rebecca Percy don protective gear during the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear challenge Sept. 28 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Chad Padgett / U.S. Air Force)

U.S. Air Forces in Europe recently finished a weeklong chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response competition at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, with a four-person team from RAF Lakenheath, England, taking top honors.

The home team from Ramstein took technical knowledge and team relay awards.

Six teams took part in simulated CBRN scenarios and relay events in an abandoned base housing area, according to a news release announcing the event.

The real-world scenarios included teams performing environmental health site assessments of a simulated bare-base deployment location and an investigation of CBRN materials in mock terrorist labs.

Once the teams found a simulated CBRN threat, they assessed it and reported it to their on-scene commander.

According to Col. Mark Ediger, USAFE’s command surgeon, the competition gave practical, hands-on experience to the various teams.

“We see this exercise as a great way to encourage our people toward proficiency and reward them for doing a good job in training,” said Ediger in the release.

“There is a whole spectrum of threats that can be used against us at a deployed setting or at our installations,” he said, “and when that situation arrives you don’t have time to pull out the books and figure out how to use equipment and how to make good decisions. You have to be ready to do that in advance.”

“A lot of folks don’t realize what capabilities sit at our Air Force bases,” said bioenvironmental engineer Maj. Phil Preen in the release. “We have tremendous CBRN detection and analysis capability.

“These exercises are good from a joint perspective in that we can demonstrate our capabilities and show we are ready if something goes wrong,” he said.

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