CBOLC applies classroom learning in FTX Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 October 2013
 
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Second Lt. Jonathan Young, Chemical Basic Officer Leaders Course class 05-13, points to locations on a terrain board that will be monitored for chemical contamination during the class’ final field training exercise. The FTX tests the lieutenants on all the skills they have acquired during their CBOL course.
By Dawn Arden
Assistant editor
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Chemical Basic Officer Leaders Course class 05-13 put their classroom knowledge to the test in a field training exercise last week. The FTX also included air support from the Missouri Army National Guard.

“The scenario we have is the downed aircraft in which they will do chemical recon by helicopter,” said Capt. Timothy Hall, Company A, 84th Chemical Battalion, Officer Training Department small group instructor. “The students will access the site and in route to decon (the helicopter) they will request mounted recon assets to be deployed and get a positive or a negative for (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) agent in the area.”

By coordinating with the Guard for air support, the students and the flight crew were able to learn from each other during the entire exercise, from the air radiation recon to the process of decontaminating the aircraft.

“They have to take all instructions from the crew chief to make sure they don’t inject water into areas that could harm the skin of the aircraft or the intricacies of the aircraft,” Hall said.  

Participating in a chemical FTX also proves beneficial for the flight crew in another way.

“Let’s say they were deployed into an environment where they were to become contaminated — they would have the proper training on how to go through the proper steps for operational decon on an aircraft,” Hall said.

Class 05-13 started June 17 with learning what they would put into practice during this culminating FTX before graduation Oct. 11.

“In the classroom you can only learn so much,” said 2nd Lt. Jarrett Smith, CBOLC class 05-13 student. “But when you actually get to the field and you get to practice it, you are able to make those mistakes and learn from them a lot better than what you would if you just had them described to you. There is a valid experience coming out of this operation.”

Classmate 2nd Lt. Matthew Bradley agreed with Smith.

“I have learned quite a bit,” Bradley said. “Seeing the practical application versus the classroom makes a difference, it makes it all come together.”

Hall said he’s known for his “crazy and off-the-wall” FTXs and that this particular scenario took about three months to plan due to all of the moving pieces, the entities involved and the personnel needed.

“The lieutenants, in my opinion, learn in the classroom environment, but, they get here and it’s that extra something for them; they get their hands-on training so they get to apply what they learned in the classroom,” Hall said. “This is about the only time that the lieutenants will be able to use all of the assets available to them, or possibly available to them, in the chemical arsenal.”
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 October 2013 )