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One team, one fight: 934th Airmen collaborate with 133rd Airmen on joint exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Matthew Reisdorf
  • 934th Public Affairs Wing

Donning chemical gear for a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense training event during an almost 90-degree Fahrenheit day can be a sweat-inducing task.

As stifling as this sounds, Airmen from the 934th Civil Engineering Squadron and the 133rd Civil Engineering Squadron committed to this without complaint, but they also did it for the sake of just having fun.

Working side by side, the Airmen took part in a joint exercise on April 13, 2023, here. This combined training exercise enhanced Airmen readiness in a collaborative environment.

The main goal was to work in unison and have experiences that would enable them to build a foundation for future deployments. The 934th Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit created a scenario inside a dilapidated structure that allowed the 934 CES and 133 CES to test their CBRN gear and skills for functionality.

"All of these skills that we are training are perishable skills in our career fields," said Staff Sgt. McKenzie Williams, the 934th CES CBRN superintendent. "We want to make sure that all the new kids that are in there hone these skills when they get here."

When you asked Williams about training, he doubtlessly agreed with Albert Einstein's statement concerning achievement, "Failure is success in progress."

"We are learning here where our training shortfalls are for our folks so that we can modify our training to make sure that they are getting the most out of their unit training assemblies here," he said.

When it comes to being ready for the task at hand, Williams thinks that exercises such as these are quintessential to being capable of taking on threats to the world at large.

"This stuff is perfect," Williams said. "We will be prepared for any scenarios that gets thrown at us, especially with the new climate."

"It's great to take part in joint training," said Chief Master Sgt. Jon Pieters, the 133 CES senior enlisted engineer and the 934 AW installation emergency manager. "To establish working relationships and training together to build those relationships, it helps to then have a joint understanding of what each organization is providing and how they fit in."

Maintaining mission readiness is a must if Airmen are to succeed in all endeavors on the battlefield. No stranger to readiness, Senior Airman Brad McConnell, 934 CES emergency management specialist, has sound advice for being ready.

"Our career field could go any different way," McConnell said. "We're trying to look at it as we want to stay functional. It's better to stay prepared than to have to feel like you're scrambling."

McConnell said that the nature of training, such as the joint exercises, makes the coordination between the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve seamless in transition.

"Because we're on the same installation, we will often share resources," he said. "It truly comes down to one team, one fight. They may have done some exercises or seen some things that we may not have, or vice versa. That's what we are hoping for."

When thinking about the readiness that can come from failing, Williams said that the unknown is perfect for future successes in the field.

"I expect my Airmen to fumble through something like this," Williams said. "Then, when we are rewriting their training and getting them prepped, we're going to make it where next time they come to a scenario like this, they don't need an instructor."

Staying ready for deployment at a moment's notice is a requirement for all Airmen and Guardsmen. The day may come when they are called to action, and preparation for that day is the key to success.

"When the balloon goes up and we've got to go to war, you're going to be wearing battle rattle all the time," Pieters said. "God forbid we have to do this in real life. They have an understanding – they can perform their jobs to the best of their ability."