by Staff Sgt. Sara Csurilla
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/6/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airmen
from the 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment
helped pilots from the 25th and 36th Fighter Squadrons don Aircrew Eye
and Respiratory Protection equipment as part of Operational Readiness
Exercise Beverly Midnight 13-03 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea,
The pilots practice using the protective equipment to ensure they know
how to wear it properly in the event of real world contingencies.
"These pilot's systems that protect them from chemical, biological or
radiological hazards are unique because it is able to be integrated into
the cockpit allowing them to breathe at altitude, communicate and use
existing equipment such as night vision goggles and helmet mounted
targeting systems," said Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Redfern, 51st OSS
AFE superintendent. "Their AERP gear must also integrate with their
ejection seat and parachute harness."
Although the pilots can usually use the buddy system and help their
wingman put the gear on, it takes a whole team to properly remove the
"The AERP is the aircrew's equivalent of MOPP 4," Redfern explained.
"(The AERP equipment) is used to protect the pilot in a potential
chemical, biological or radiological environment. When worn, the pilot
must be systematically "undressed" by AFE technicians."
Once the pilot is fully geared up, plastic bag and all, to face a
potentially contaminated environment, they are then carefully processed
through a decontamination line. Each pilot is processed one-by-one by
being sprayed with water and a bleach solution, coated with charcoal,
and systematically undressed by AFE members to reduce decontamination in
"Scenarios like these give our Airmen the opportunity to work with the
pilots and ensure that they have confidence in their abilities and in
the equipment we provide to them," Redfern said.
This is the fourth ORE this year where Airmen will undergo several
different scenarios that will test their ability to defend the base and
conduct daily operations during a heightened state of readiness.
"Our AFE Airmen have continually shown a top level of aircrew
contamination control area, or ACCA aptitude and commitment," Redfern
concluded. "I'm excited for this exercise to continue to show off their
skills and expertise."