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NEWS | March 11, 2021

433rd Airlift Wing trains in readiness exercise

By Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 50 Reserve Citizen Airmen participated in the 433rd Airlift Wing’s first chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives exercise at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland March 6 since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

This was the first in a series of exercises that wing leadership plans to implement in the coming year.

The 433rd AW Commander, Col. Terry McClain, said that the plan is to have quarterly wing-wide training days to familiarize Airmen with aspects of CBRNE scenarios.

"It's good to knock the dust off and perform some training in a contested environment," McClain said. "This is our first step since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, in implementing the wing's ability to survive and operate (ATSO) training plan."

The exercise consisted of two parts; post-attack reconnaissance sweeps and cargo transport. The Airmen received real-world training and practice in wearing different levels of mission-oriented protective posture gear while performing sweeps and transporting cargo.

The exercise coordinator, Maj. Robert Orallo III, 74th Aerial Port Squadron air freight officer in charge, said that these two parts were further broken down into five events, with the intent that they would seamlessly merge together to give Airmen an interactive and memorable experience.

“We wanted to create an environment where any Airman, regardless of their job, can show up and perform the designated tasks,” Orallo said.

The five events consisted of covering and uncovering a piece of cargo with a tarp, driving a route in MOPP gear, setting up and running a unit control center, and performing two different types of PAR sweeps. One sweep was to find any unexploded ordnance and the second was to locate any potential casualties.

“The purpose was to prepare them for real-world scenarios, whether domestic or while deployed,” Orallo said. “Overall, I think it went well. I think they had fun, learned a lot, and it’s really good for Airmen from different squadrons and backgrounds to come together and accomplish a goal.”

The Airmen who participated were from the 433rd Civil Engineer Squadron, the 433rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 433rd Security Forces Squadron, the 74th Aerial Port Squadron, and the 68th Airlift Squadron.

One of the team leads in the exercise, Tech. Sgt. Reynaldo Lania, 74th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation craftsman, said that he was selected as a team lead the day prior, so it was a challenge to get himself spun up on the job requirements.

However, he said it was good practice and that he was able to rely on his training and experience to teach others what to do.

“I think we can never have enough training,” Lania said. “Stuff happens, especially when you deploy, and we’d rather be ready.”