JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Hawaii Air National Guard Airmen completed a chemical warfare and decontamination exercise Sept. 2 alongside joint and total force partners.
More than 70 Airmen and Marines participated in the week-long training event, Toxic Pineapple, collaborating to streamline decontamination practices.
Scenarios and theory lessons at the facility’s Base X training grounds focused on the process of recovering crew members exposed to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive materials.
“To keep things simple, we call crew members ‘slimed’ after they become infected during their mission,” said Staff Sergeant. Roderick Baker Jr., 154th Operations Support Squadron F-22 Raptor aircrew flight equipment NCO. “As soon as the pilots return, they would be received by our decontamination line and would be asked a series of questions.”
If CBRNE agents are detected, they are guided through a process to safely dismantle their protective gear.
Aircrew Flight Equipment and Emergency Management Guardsmen from the 154th Operations Support Squadron and 154th Civil Engineer Squadron combined their capabilities with active duty Airmen stationed throughout the Pacific region.
Attendees included members of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kunsan Air Base, Korea, Kadena AB, Japan, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, JBPH-H’s 15th Wing, and career managers from PACAF and the continental United States.
While Department of Defense military teams have access to different equipment and infrastructure for setting up decontamination areas, Toxic Pineapple’s procedures were designed to standardize practices that members of all backgrounds can perform.
The common framework required multiple configurations of decontamination areas tailored to the needs of the service branches’ different mission sets. Members performed processes for crews at established airbases and applied expeditionary methods more suited to field environments.
“This training allowed us to talk about best practices and what we should prepare for as we move forward, especially in a joint environment,” said U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Dennis Taylor, Marine Aircraft Group-24 CBRNE Defense. responsible officer. “The idea that I can get Air Force pilots anytime, or they can get Navy pilots anytime, or just know that personnel may need to be messed up anytime . Now we are better prepared to do so, tactically and effectively, with everything around us.
Members were also challenged to experience the process from an airman’s perspective. Participants assumed the role of a ‘filed’ crew member and endured the sanitization process while wearing crew gear and layers of CBRNE protective gear.
“It allows us to find out exactly what to expect from the crew when they’re screwed up,” Baker said. “Getting patted down, communicating effectively, while coping with all the heat and stress of being exposed to contamination. But more importantly, it allows us to assess how others are putting their training into practice. It’s about giving them the opportunity to practice and see the process from both sides.
Some personnel participated in Tropic Pineapple without prior CBRNE qualification. But after two days of training, Taylor said everyone was able to set up and maintain the decontamination line without supervision.
Participants received training certificates at the end of the week for completing the Aircrew Contamination Control course, conducted by instructors at Dyess Air Force Base.