Military News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Preparing for success: Osan maintains ready force with IPE

by Senior Airman David Owsianka
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/29/2015 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- As service members arrive at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, they will receive individual protective equipment from the 51st Logistic Readiness Squadron IPE unit.

In nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, IPE clothing and equipment are used to protect an individual from biological and chemical hazards and some nuclear effects. All mission essential personnel will receive their gear within the first 10-days upon arriving on station.

"It is imperative we issue chemical gear, because North Korea uses chemical warfare," said Senior Airman Tyree Johnson, 51st LRS IPE technician. "With that being said, we have to be ready to fight at all times with us being so close to the border."

The mission of the IPE unit is to ensure that all essential personnel in-processing at Osan receives their chemical gear.

Each person will receive a training bag and real-world bag. The training bag includes a canteen, web belt, personal carrier, training boots, training coat and trousers, gas mask, vest, plates, training gloves and inserts. The real world bag contains two pairs of coats and trousers, two pairs of boots, M8 paper, M9 tape, two gas mask filters, an M295 decontamination kit, and two pairs of gloves and inserts.

"I believe it is essential that we have the equipment, so that we are always prepared," said Capt. Keyanna Spears, 51st LRS vehicle management flight commander. "The way the world is now, we never know when we will need to put it on."

During operational readiness exercises, service members will train with the equipment to prepare themselves for potential real-world contingencies.

"Having trained with the equipment, it has helped prepare me to know what to wear and what to expect," Spears said. "The scenarios also put me in the mindset that this could happen at any time and we always need to be ready."

The IPE unit allows service members to be more equipped in case of an emergency.

"Training with the equipment helps Airmen support the overall mission, because it allows us to be better prepared and more knowledgeable of what we are doing here at Osan," Johnson said.

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