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100th CES Emergency Management Airmen plan, train for readiness

Staff Sgt. Patrick O’Donnell, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management journeyman, plots the affected area resulting from a simulated contamination event March 18, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen create and maintain base plans that establish the response to crises like hazardous material spills, aircraft crashes and natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Staff Sgt. Patrick O’Donnell, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management journeyman, plots the affected area resulting from a simulated contamination event March 18, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen create and maintain base plans that establish the response to crises like hazardous material spills, aircraft crashes and natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airmen put on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective gear during a CBRN defense skills class March 17, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen of the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron enhance readiness by providing CBRN training to deploying and home station members of the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airmen put on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective gear during a CBRN defense skills class March 17, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen of the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron enhance readiness by providing CBRN training to deploying and home station members of the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Team Mildenhall Airmen and an instructor from the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management shop pause before an inert unexploded ordinance as part of a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense skills class March 17, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen help maintain base readiness by teaching CBRN skills to Airmen serving at home station as well as in deployed environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Team Mildenhall Airmen and an instructor from the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management shop pause before an inert unexploded ordinance as part of a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense skills class March 17, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen help maintain base readiness by teaching CBRN skills to Airmen serving at home station as well as in deployed environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman 1st Class Kamron Karnes, 100th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice, poses for a photo in his M50 gas mask March 17, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen are responsible for ensuring Airmen like Karnes have the skills needed to operate their chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman 1st Class Kamron Karnes, 100th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice, poses for a photo in his M50 gas mask March 17, 2020, at RAF Mildenhall, England. Emergency management Airmen are responsible for ensuring Airmen like Karnes have the skills needed to operate their chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

RAF Mildenhall, England -- --

The 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Office at RAF Mildenhall, England, contributes to mission readiness through their oversight of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training and their creation and maintenance of base plans.

The largest component of the office’s efforts is directed at the biweekly CBRN defense skills class. Training approximately 90 people per week, Emergency Management Airmen teach the course and educate deploying and home station Airmen on the skills they need to effectively respond to a CBRN threat.

“The CBRN class is a pre-deployment training requirement for all individuals going out the door to pretty much any area of responsibility,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Liggon, 100th CES emergency management plans and operations noncommissioned officer in charge. “As long as the class remains a deployment requirement, we have our hands in every deployment location we go to, whether it’s Africa Command, Central Command, European Command or even Pacific Air Forces.”

The Emergency Management Office’s far-reaching impact can be felt on base as well. They are responsible for the development and upkeep of all base plans, guides that provide a course of action during crises ranging from aircraft accidents to natural disasters and hazardous material spills.

“We spend a lot of time on the phone talking to other agencies because we’re trying to develop plans that are base-wide,” said Liggon. “We have to reach out to the other entities and get their opinions and their take on certain tasks to make sure we’re not over-tasking them or giving them duties they’re not responsible for.”

The base plans are constantly reviewed and updated to reflect changing circumstances and more efficient operating procedures. 

“Almost all of our plans are living documents,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick O’Donnell, 100th CES emergency management journeyman. “They’re always being worked on. Things change, and even if nothing’s going on, you still need to update the information at the very least.”

Emergency Management Airmen understand the importance of preparing for the worst. Whether it be delivering CBRN training that could save lives during a chemical attack, or keeping the base plans up-to-date for potential disaster scenarios, they ensure the Mildenhall mission continues unimpeded.

“Mission readiness is planning,” said O’Donnell. “Part of the mission is when things do go wrong, so it’s important to make sure you have a plan to cover all eventualities.”