Full spectrum readiness: Survive, operate anywhere, anytime

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Scott Warner
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Twenty-eight Airmen who provide specialized support to MacDill’s joint-service tenant units rehearsed everyday duties in extraordinary scenarios during a 6th Mission Support Group Ability To Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Dec. 6, 2018. 

During the training, Airmen perfected their response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats under austere conditions.

“Airbase defense, self-aid buddy care and CBRN training all take place during ATSO training,” said Staff Sgt. Carl Davis, a 6th Security Forces Squadron instructor. “Full spectrum readiness is crucial for every unit at MacDill and it encompasses being prepared to operate and adapt to changing environments.”

The 6th MSG's large umbrella of responsibilities brought a wide array of Airmen to the training at the CBRN facility and Combat Arms and Maintenance’s shooting house. Participating units included the Civil Engineer, Communication, Security Forces, Force Support, Contracting and Logistics Readiness. Though their mission sets vary, these units trained cohesively to shape crucial battlefield skills.

“Every squadron in the 6th Mission Support Group has Airmen present for ATSO training and although it starts as computer-based training, it has real world implications,” said Davis.

From wearing mission oriented protective posture gear to identifying threats, providing self-aid buddy care and understanding mitigation zones for decontamination, ATSO training reinforced skills necessary to accomplish the mission in a contested environment.

“If we are in the military, we signed up knowing we might one day be put in some dangerous situations,” said Senior Airman Rey Infante, a lodging accountant assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron. “Every day we train in the field to understand what we might encounter is vital to coming back home safely.”

ATSO training has become more frequent in recent years across the United States Air Force as squadrons focus on being a more ready, lethal asset on tomorrow’s battlefield.

“The training is still evolving, and we’re working to perfect the program. Ideally, we can roll this program out and benefit everyone across the installation in every career field,” said Davis.

Exercises continue to enhance 6th MSG’s ability to operate in the most dangerous of conditions through recurring preparation, and as the old saying goes, “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”