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Holloman receives new detection, protection equipment

HOLLOMAN AFB, N.M. -- Holloman's 49th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department, 49th Security Force Squadron and 49 CES Readiness Flight recently received new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear personal protective and detection equipment in order to improve installation protection.

The units received this equipment as a result of an assessment commissioned by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that evaluated all military installations after the Sept. 11 attacks, said Master Sgt. Lee Smith, 49 CES readiness. The assessment evaluated how each installation was equipped to handle weapons of mass destruction events.

"Holloman is one of the first 100 installations to receive this equipment," he said.

The Joint Program Manager Guardian Installation Protection Program gave Holloman CBRN detection, personal protection, communication and telephone notification equipment in order to enhance Holloman's capabilities to respond to WMD events, said Mr. Philip Goss, 49 CES readiness.

The detection equipment is a small beeper-like device, the size of an ID card, that detects CBRN agents where personnel are, said Sergeant Smith. "The detector will start going off if there is danger."

The fire department and 49 CES readiness had the necessary PPE, but Guardian provided more to the SFS who didn't have the equipment, he said.

Communications equipment, including two new work stations and two laptop computers, were also provided in order for the emergency responders to communicate with the installation command post and emergency information center, said Sergeant Smith. This capability allows a computer model of the accident site to warn everyone in a short amount of time.

"The telephone notification system Holloman received can call massive amounts of people at one time," said Sergeant Smith. "Two hundred people can be notified at once. The system also tracks if someone answered the phone or if it reached a voicemail."

With all this new equipment, Holloman Airmen had to be trained. The training took place Jan. 22-31 and was hands-on with all the new equipment and software.

The training ended with a table top exercise Feb. 1, said Mr. Goss. A table top exercise is when scenarios are played out and each unit talks their way through what they would do in the event something happened.

The training was held by SAIC, the contractor who did the initial assessment of the installation. The training was for all Airmen who would be working with the new equipment including the fire department, SFS, CES readiness and command post, said Sergeant Smith.

The equipment provided by Guardian is just for use at Holloman and will not be sent with Airmen to deployed locations.