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    Nebraska engineers train at PATRIOT Exercise 2015

    Soldiers prepare for a day of training

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Anna Pongo | Soldiers from the 623rd Vertical Engineering Company ready their equipment in...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Anna Pongo 

    111th Public Affairs Detachment

    VOLK FIELD, Wis. - Soldiers from the 623rd Vertical Engineering Company attached to Nebraska’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package, or CERFP, participated in PATRIOT Exercise 2015 at Volk Field, Wisconsin, this week.

    PATRIOT 2015 is a training exercise that provides simulated real-world emergencies for the Soldiers and Airmen to train in and react to.

    Among the Air and Army National Guardsmen participating in PATRIOT 2015, 43 engineers from the 623rd, based out of Wahoo, Nebraska, and nine medics from the 155th Air Refueling Wing, based out of Lincoln, Nebraska, tackled the challenge of each day’s training together.

    Each morning during the field training, the Soldiers began with a reconnaissance and extraction team whose mission was to search the hot zone and identify other missions, said Spc. Jacki Bouray, a signal support systems specialist with the 623rd.

    Some of the identified missions included lifting and hauling rubble, and breaking and breaching by sawing and drilling concrete slabs to rescue victims. If a victim was too far into the hole the Soldiers completed the extraction mission using ropes.

    During the extraction missions, the Soldiers used their training to assess casualties. Some victims could walk from the hot zone, while others had to be extracted on litters, said Pfc. Javier Buendia-Rodriguez, a plumber with the 623rd.

    Many of the victims in the training exercise were role-players, brought in to make the scenarios more real. Mannequins were chosen as the victims in the more dangerous situations such as being trapped under concrete and collapsing buildings.

    “It’s hard work,” said Sgt. Ben Helmink, a carpentry and masonry specialist with the 623rd. “It’s fun. It’s something different from our normal training.”

    The 623rd CERFP Soldiers spent time preparing during the month of June in preparation for the exercise, said Bouray.

    The training to become a member of the CERFP is an initial two-week course and participation is based on volunteers, said Helmink. Advanced courses are also available for additional training.

    “You feel like you’re really accomplishing something,” said Bouray. “You see it from start to finish and it’s just exciting.”



    Date Taken: 07.23.2015
    Date Posted: 07.23.2015 13:17
    Story ID: 170884
    Location: VOLK FIELD, WI, US 

    Web Views: 133
    Downloads: 0