National Guard units work together to save tax-payer dollars

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Roth
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
In an effort to save costs, increase proficiency and allow for uninterrupted training, Airmen from Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin are working together to develop their skills near the village of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.
About 15 Airmen from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn., the 183rd FW, Springfield, Ill., and the 115th FW, Madison, Wis., practiced their emergency management skills together for the first time at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center April 12-15.

"We have a large number of tasks that must be accomplished on a yearly basis to remain
proficient and maintain Department of Defense certification," said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Wizner, the 115th FW installation emergency manager. "We often try to accomplish
these tasks at home station but even with the best of intentions, there's always some task, appointment or meeting that seems to get in the way."

Emergency management personnel practiced decontamination techniques, base threat detection, hazardous material detection and site preservation. They are responsible for the base's ability to withstand and recover from an attack during wartime and natural disasters during peacetime.

In one exercise scenario, a chemical agent was found in an office on base and the chemical needed to be identified for public safety. An Airman from each unit in attendance worked on the same team to gather hazardous material while wearing chemical suits and oxygen masks. They worked together to ensure safe collection and identification of the chemical agent.

Master Sgt. Laura Valente, 183rd FW assistant installation emergency manager, agreed with McCuskey and Wizner's comments.

"With budget constraints, not all units have all the equipment desired and when we come together we can share equipment," said Sergeant Valente.

"Everyone has a little different way of doing things and this is a great opportunity for different flights to train together and learn from each other," said Senior Master Sgt. Kelvin McCuskey, 148th FW installation emergency manager.