Restoration of Operations at Osan Air Base
Jan. 29, 2003
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Osan Air Base continues to play a vital role in the effort to improve chemical and biological defense capability within the Air Force and the Department of Defense.
The base is serving as a test site for the final Restoration of Operations Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration during its upcoming combat employment readiness exercise Feb. 1-7.
The last ACTD demonstration will assess the military utility of several new or improved chemical defense technologies and operational procedures.
The ACTD first visited Osan in February 2001 and has participated in several exercises over the past two years. The success of this partnership has advanced both the Air Force and DoD's understanding and ability to react to the consequences of a potential chemical or biological attack.
During the upcoming exercise, RestOps will assess 12 candidate technologies and four operational procedures. The technologies and procedures cover the entire spectrum of chemical-biological defense including detection, protection and contamination avoidance, operational and medical decontamination, agent identification, and improvements in situational awareness.
The technologies range from simple to complex. At the simple end are technologies such as Boye gloves designed to provide greater tactility and dexterity than butyl rubber gloves when performing specialized mission-essential tasks.
A Mobile Chemical Agent Detector is one of the more complex technologies, and it is designed to provide a standoff chemical detection/identification capability that may provide commander's additional time to make and implement appropriate protective action decisions.
A potentially significant technology improvement is being demonstrated and assessed for the first time. Previous assessments at Osan have indicated considerable problems with getting the word out accurately on Split-Mission Oriented Protective Posture conditions, chemical zone boundaries, and transition points. This problem is not isolated to Osan, but exists across all of the Pacific Air Force Command.
In response to this problem, RestOps searched for a means to provide a quicker, more accurate, remotely controlled sign. If the new signs are successful, more will be purchased and provided at other transition points.
As RestOps wraps up, the civil engineer directorate from Headquarters Pacific Air Forces is watching the results of the trans-zone assessment closely to see if perhaps, it is the potential proto-type, PACAF-wide solution.
In addition to technologies, the ACTD is focusing on several tests, tactics and procedures, because improvements in these areas have high payoff potential for enhancing chemical and biological response capabilities. Improving biological warfare defense response capabilities has become one of the most important assessment areas for the ACTD.
The importance of chemical and biological defense cannot be understated. Those RestOps technologies demonstrated here, which are successful, will be the technologies and operational procedures adopted by Air Force and the Department of Defense in the future and once again 51 Fighter Wing leads the charge. (PACAFNS)
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