RED HORSE RIDING HARD
on Saturday, 09 May 2009

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By SSGT Bill Nicholls
--Camp Blanding, Florida--The 202nd RED HORSE Squadron (Florida Air Guard) held its annual Field Training Exercise at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in May 2009, with a multi-task format.

202nd RHS Commander Colonel Jack Paschal said the exercise had a two-tier mission: "We're actually accomplishing two goals in one swing: preparing for a Unit Compliance Inspection Inspection this August, and getting ready for an Operational Readiness Inspection in April 2010. That's a lot of spaghetti on one fork. Normally there are several years between a UCI and
ORI, but this is the way it worked out, and we're getting it done."

UCI prep this year involved an extraordinary behind-the-scenes effort in which every 202nd Airman was required to successfully complete several "on-line" computer courses in ADLS (Advanced Distance Learning System). Mandatory courses included CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Defense, ATSO (Ability to Survive and Operate), Self Aid and Buddy Care, Law of Armed Conflict, Information Protection, Human Relations, SERE 100 and Force Protection. Operations Chief Douglas Gilbert came up with an innovative way to accomplish the courses--"We took a vote, and agreed on an experimental program in which our Airmen completed the courses off duty, and we paid them for one day of drill. It was very, very successful."

Chief of Supply Larry Linton said the FTX was extremely fast-paced, with a mixed bag of taskings for all sections: "We threw a lot of things at every section, including how to handle EPW's (enemy prisoners of war), KIA's (those killed in action), all sections responding to attacks, Self Aid and Buddy Care scenarios in each section, plus equipment and vehicle processing. It was very, very intense."

All 202nd RHS Airmen received extensive Self Aid and Buddy Care training, both on-line and in real life. Captain Rafael Palacios (Physician's Assistant) said responsiveness is essential: "The real test is how you all respond. Everything we saw was pretty good--people utilizing radios to call Operations, breaking out first aid kits, checking airway, breathing, circulations, and initiating immediate Self Aid and Buddy Care. Yes, call for a medic, but it might be a few minutes before we arrive. You need to use that time to keep that person alive."

Chemical Warfare was a major part of the field exercise, with two new aspects--the introduction of "split-MOPP" (mission oriented protective posture) zones, and the new "JSLIST" chemical suit (Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology--slightly cooler than previous models). In past exercises, an entire base would be on one MOPP condition, with all Airmen in the same MOPP level. New procedures allow the Commander to vary MOPP levels throughout the base, depending on chemical conditions. Another new chemical program--the PART team (post attack reconnaissance team). The PART team sweeps the base following an attack, with one mission: search for chemical contamination. All other aspects are left to other teams. 202nd RHS Chemical MSgt Gus Maura stressed the importance of knowing the various alarm and MOPP levels. Airmen going from a contaminated area to a "clean" zone would process through the CCA (chemical containment area), to eradicate chemicals, and prevent contaminating other Airmen. 128 Airmen went through the CCA this exercise.

Along with new innovations, First Sergeant Jerry Saddler found time to reaffirm military customs and courtesies, and proper wearing of the uniform: "Guard is family, but we're also a military organization. That means wearing the blouse, addressing each other by rank and last name, wearing the uniform properly--things of that nature. Discipline in peacetime breeds
discipline in wartime." (First Sergeant Saddler has served in two wartime postings--Afghanistan and Iraq).

Ops Chief Gilbert said future exercises will incorporate a dedicated security team--a group of Airmen who will train extensively in ECP/QRF (entry control point/quick reaction force) procedures: "They're going to become very, very good."

Colonel Paschal stated a lot more is expected of today's Airmen than in previous years: "It used to be Guard was primarily a home station force, called out for natural disasters primarily. Today, we're called upon to fly halfway around the world and fight two wars, as well as natural disasters, field exercises, administrative inspections, drills, and extensive computer coursework. It's a lot of work, but we'll get it done."

Image
TSGT TOM LINDSAY USES A BACKHOE IN A ROAD PROJECT AS PART OF A 202ND RED
HORSE FIELD EXERCISE HELD 3-8 MAY 2009 AT CAMP BLANDING JOINT TRAINING
CENTER.
Image
MSGT WINSTON EDWARDS HELPS ERECT A TENT DURING A 202ND RED HORSE FIELD
TRAINING EXERCISE HELD 3-8 MAY 2009 AT CAMP BLANDING JOINT TRAINING CENTER.
Image
SSGT TROY CASSEROTTI WIELDS A SLEDGEHAMMER TO POUND IN TENT STAKES DURING
THE ANNUAL 202ND RED HORSE FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE HELD 3-8 MAY 2009 AT CAMP
BLANDING JOINT TRAINING CENTER. THE RED HORSE IS GEARING UP FOR A UNIT
COMPLIANCE INSPECTION IN AUGUST 2009, AND A UNIT COMPLIANCE INSPECTION IN
MARCH 2010.
Image
TSGT JOSHUA CREWS HELPS OPERATE THE SINGLE PALLET EXPEDITIONARY KITCHEN
(S.P.E.K.) DURING THE 202ND RED HORSE FIELD EXERCISE AT CAMP BLANDING JOINT
TRAINING CENTER. THE S.P.E.K. IS CAPABLE OF FEEDING 550 PEOPLE PER MEAL,
RUNS ON A 2KW GENERATOR, AND HEATS WATER USING A "BABINGTON BURNER." THE
S.P.E.K. NORMALLY IS USED TO PREPARE UNITIZED GROUP RATIONS.
Image
202ND RED HORSE CHEMICAL NCO MSGT GUS MAURA INSTRUCTS AIRMEN IN HOW TO
INSPECT AND WEAR A GAS MASK. THE RED HORSE HELD A FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE
3-8 MAY 2009 AT CAMP BLANDING JOINT TRAINING CENTER.
Image
MSGT BRENDA CLINE AND CAPTAIN RAFAEL PALACIOS TEACH SELF AID AND BUDDY CARE
DURING THE 202ND RED HORSE ANNUAL FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE HELD 3-8 MAY 2009
AT CAMP BLANDING JOINT TRAINING CENTER.
Image
202ND RED HORSE CHEMICAL N.C.O. MSGT GUS MAURA BRIEFS AIRMEN ON THE
IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING LEVELS OF ALERT AND MISSION ORIENTED PROTECTIVE
POSTURE, DURING THE ANNUAL RED HORSE FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE HELD 3-8 MAY
2009 AT CAMP BLANDING.

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