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    MAG-24 gives CH-53E helicopter a bird bath

    MAG-24 gives CH-53E helicopter a bird bath

    Photo By Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres | Cpl. Elizabeth Albert, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN)...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres 

    Marine Corps Base Hawaii

    Walking across the flight line, Marines don their Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) suits and carefully make their way towards a grounded CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. There they begin cleaning the aircraft through a rigorous process of power washing and scrubbing while in full MOPP suits.
    U.S. Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 463, also known as “Pegasus,” Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24, conducted a detailed aircraft decontamination (DECON) exercise, Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), Nov. 8, 2017.
    Staff Sgt. Patrick Adolphin, the operations chief with HMH-463, said the exercise simulated a chemical nerve agent contaminating an aircraft and its crew members. He also said the purpose of the training was to put Marines in a CBRN environment and to teach them how to conduct proper procedures for DECON.
    “The Marines received refresher classes from CBRN specialists which included testing for specific contaminants with special equipment and how to properly equip their suit,” Adolphin said. “The situation was that a helicopter was notionally contaminated by a nerve agent and the Marines suited up in MOPP suits to prepare for its arrival.”
    He stated that every Marine in the squadron is expected to learn how to conduct proper decontamination procedures and safety measures. Adolphin added that the most important reward the Marines receive from this training is confidence.
    “Much like the gas chamber, confidence and muscle memory are the biggest things I want the Marines to get from this exercise because they will be mentally prepared without hesitation in a real emergency,” he said. “Everyone that goes through this training, not just ‘Pegasus,’ will be a more vital part to completing the mission.”
    Cpl. Daniel Gettle, a CBRN specialist with MAG-24 Headquarters, helped instruct the Marines throughout the day’s exercise.
    “There were stations for each type of DECON from decontaminant inspection and rinse down to safely removing the MOPP suit in stages,” he said. “CBRN training in general is important because there may come an emergency situation in our area of operations that will require the proper response to that call. Whether it be nerve agent, toxic chemicals or radiation exposure Marines, must be trained and prepared.”
    Gettle said that this training is a new experience for a lot of the Marines and that it’s the appropriate time to make mistakes and ask questions.
    “Today was a crawl, walk, run approach and its encouraged to ask questions and to make mistakes, because in the real world you can’t risk a minor error or else it will cost someone’s life,” he said. “For a majority of the first timers, they did very well and hopefully they get a better understanding for DECON.”



    Date Taken: 11.08.2017
    Date Posted: 11.10.2017 21:45
    Story ID: 254925

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