157th Air Refueling Wing Hosts International Training Event
By Capt Sherri Pierce, 157 ARW
/ Published July 26, 2010
Pease Air National Guard Base -- Members from Tajikistan's Ministry of Defense and the Committee on Emergency Situations spent four days observing training at the 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease Air National Guard Base.
The purpose of the visit was to assist Tajikistan in developing emergency response procedures and enhance training in order to strengthen their disaster response capabilities.
The event focused specifically on how the 157th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) handles emergency situations including aircraft emergencies, Command and Control issues, doctrine, and training. It is also an opportunity to see how the New Hampshire National Guard works in conjunction with state agencies in responding to domestic emergencies and disasters.
This event is one of many held by Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) but it is "the first to try to encompass all agencies that respond to emergencies on an airfield," said Major Devin Pietrzak, AFCENT representative from Shaw Air Force Base.
"We are happy to learn from you since you have responded to natural calamities and rendered assistance," said COL Abdusator Khushuakhtor who heads the Committee of Emergency Situations in Tajikistan. "This is one of the missions we want to fulfill."
The group started the week with a tour of the Pease Fire Department and a demonstration of its equipment. According to Khushuakhtor, Tajikistan's emergency response vehicles are equipped with only a single type of fire suppressant such as chemicals, foam or water but are not as robust as a Pease crash truck which houses all three. In addition, the Pease crash truck contains a nose turret which the Tajiks witnessed for the first time.
During their visit they also met with the 157th ARW's Emergency Management (EM) shop who demonstrated a wide range of chemical, biological, and radiological detection equipment as well as a full line of personal protective equipment for responding to CBRNE hazards.
"Citizens of N.H. can rest assured that people will be protected because this unit is performing its (emergency response) function," said COL Nuriddin Safarov of the Ministry of Defense.
The week was also comprised of visits and briefings from other shops involved in disaster response and mitigation such as the Wing's Risk Management Office and Security Forces Squadron. The Tajiks also visited the air traffic control tower which manages both civilian and military air traffic at Pease and were shown how to fly a KC-135 Stratotanker using the flight simulator and also how to egress the aircraft in the event of an emergency.