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Airmen enhance CBRN capabilities in exercise Desert Dragon

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sarah Williams
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

U.S. Air Force Airmen from multple Air Expeditionary Wings joined together to strengthen chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear response capabilities during exercise Desert Dragon 2024 at an undisclosed location in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Jan. 22-26.

During training, Airmen were able to hone traditional CBRN concepts of identifying biological agents and radiation surveys while expanding upon critical thinking skills and expeditionary training.

“CBRN is here to ensure that everybody knows how to survive in a chemical warfare environment,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Saldivar, CBRN flight non-commissioned officer in charge. “But this training allowed us to practice agile combat employment concepts by forecasting what the future fight might look like and honing our skill set to what we can do to keep the mission going.”

During exercise Desert Dragon, the implementation of an ACE mindset empowered Airmen to cultivate innovation and think creatively, fostering a shift from stationary installations to a more dynamic approach, allowing Airmen to deploy across a broader geographical area for future challenges.

“We’ve never focused on training for austere environments, but we have to change as threats change,” said Master Sgt. Bradley White, CBRN flight superintendent. “Now small CBRN teams can be deployed during wartime operations ensuring that air power can be protected anywhere, anytime. This protection ensures that the U.S. Air Force maintains air supremacy regardless of where aircraft are deployed.” 

The Desert Dragon exercise, conducted each rotation, ensures that emergency management Airmen are well-prepared to fulfill a pivotal role in readiness, mitigation, response, and recovery from disasters, while also offering CBRN advisement to wing commanders.