MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Approximately 2,000 Moody warriors were challenged on their ‘Ability to Survive and Operate’ (ATSO) during a series of base-wide ATSO Rodeo exercises in September 2018.
While completing various objectives in mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear, Airmen executed self-aid and buddy care, security and chemical attack avoidance missions under duress in a simulated chemical warfare environment.
Testing and enhancing their operational readiness, this prepared the 23d Wing for the upcoming Phase II exercise, which intends to allow Airmen to successfully survive contingency operations in a contested and degraded environment, during Nov. 5-8, which will be conducted for the first time in seven years.
“We’re doing this training to get Airmen ready for a possible fight that could happen tomorrow,” said Master Sgt. James Jefferson, 23d Mission Support Group plans and programs superintendent. “(Base leadership) decided to do the ATSO Rodeo in order to prepare Airmen for (any real-world contingency) at home or down range.”
Embracing the challenge of not only completing their tasks correctly but performing in a stressful environment, Team Moody braved the heat while donning MOPP gear with multiple missions.
“It makes Airmen understand even though you’re in a chemical environment, the mission doesn’t stop,” said Jefferson. “You have to learn to adapt to the situation and continue to push on.”
By gaining a more-in-depth sense of chemical environments, law enforcement and protection, bomb detection and self-aid and buddy care, Team Moody simulated meeting wartime missions at a wartime location.
“It’s very important because we (could) deal with this in a deployed environment so we always have to be prepared for that no matter where we go,” said Staff Sgt. Jessica Sirmans, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron engineer technician. “Training always helps; it’s important to do it all the time.”
The training promotes and instills combat readiness amongst Moody Airmen and can be beneficial to those who are ready to deploy or those who will deploy in the future.
“These tools can be used anywhere; on or off duty, and at home station or abroad,” said Jefferson. “I hope they take this training seriously and use the tools we’re giving them to expand their knowledge and teach the younger Airmen.”