Wing tests ability to survive chemical attack

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The 419th Fighter Wing inspector general office conducted an Ability to Survive and Operate inspection this weekend on the flight line and the Base Operational Readiness Training Area, known as the BORTA.

All units in the wing participated, sending a total of 196 reservists to be evaluated on their proficiency in putting on chemical gear, doing mask inspections, and demonstrating knowledge of basics skills and procedures needed to operate during a chemical attack.

“This inspection gives us a local snapshot of what our capabilities are in a safe environment,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Hill, 419th IG superintendent. “The last thing we want is for someone to end up in a potential chemical environment and not have the baseline knowledge of how to survive.”

The IG office is responsible for assessing the readiness of wing personnel and the compliance level of each unit.

“I felt that what I was learning was important,” said Master Sgt. Aaron Jones, 419th FW historian. “I took away from the experience a better understanding of what I need to prepare for.”

This is the largest ATSO exercise involving chemical gear the wing has done since 2011. Reservists conduct this kind of training to ensure they are ready to deploy in support of combat operations around the globe at a moment’s notice.