Ready at any time: ATSO training prepares Airmen for deployments

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing participate in Ability to Survive and Operate training (ATSO) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing participate in Ability to Survive and Operate training (ATSO) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018. During the ATSO training, Airmen learned how to decontaminate themselves before transitioning between areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing participate in Ability to Survive and Operate training (ATSO) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing participate in Ability to Survive and Operate training (ATSO) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018. Airmen were required to wear mission oriented protective posture gear while they learned the procedures to avoid contamination and identify unexploded ordnance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing prepares to don a gas mask during Ability to Survive and Operate training (ATSO) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018.

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing prepares to don a gas mask during Ability to Survive and Operate training (ATSO) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018. During ATSO training Airmen received instruction on how to properly handle their mission oriented protective posture gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Pope, a training instructor assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron, explains the parts of an M-4 carbine during the integrated base defense portion of Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan 28, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Pope, a training instructor assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron, explains the parts of an M-4 carbine during the integrated base defense portion of Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan 28, 2018. During ATSO training, Pope taught the anatomy of the M-4 carbine and how to handle the weapon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Echo Heldreth, an aerospace medical technician with the 6th Medical Operations Squadron, practices inserting a nasopharyngeal airway tube through the nasal passageway of a simulation manikin during a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 29, 2018. This training was one of three medical simulation training stations that taught members from the 6th Medical Group life-saving techniques and strategies for providing the best trauma care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Perdue)

U.S. Air Force Airmen perform a “buddy check” to make sure mission oriented protective posture gear is being worn properly at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airmen perform a “buddy check” to make sure mission oriented protective posture gear is being worn properly at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. MacDill Airmen participated in Ability to Survive and Operate training to focus on increased readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

U.S. Air Force Airmen review covering “critical assets” prior to a suspected chemical attack during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airmen review covering “critical assets” prior to a suspected chemical attack during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. ATSO training focuses on improving the ability of Airmen to perform their duties during less than ideal circumstances and improving the unit’s response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

U.S. Air Force Airmen train on proper wear of mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Airmen train on proper wear of mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. MOPP gear is used by personnel in toxic environments, such as a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear strike. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

A U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class demonstrates how to pack a wound on a training manikin during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.

A U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class demonstrates how to pack a wound on a training manikin during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. ATSO training focuses on improving the ability of Airmen to perform their duties during less than ideal circumstances and improving the unit’s response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

Tech. Sgt. Frank Eubank, maintenance operations center senior controller assigned to the 6th Maintenance Squadron, applies a tourniquet to a training manikin during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.
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Tech. Sgt. Frank Eubank, maintenance operations center senior controller assigned to the 6th Maintenance Squadron, applies a tourniquet to a training manikin during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. ATSO training increases readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

U.S. Air Force Airmen practice applying a tourniquet to a training manikin during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.
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U.S. Air Force Airmen practice applying a tourniquet to a training manikin during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. ATSO training focuses on improving the ability of Airmen to perform their duties during less than ideal circumstances and improving the unit’s response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

A U.S. Air Force Airman practices the jaw-thrust maneuver during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018.
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A U.S. Air Force Airman practices the jaw-thrust maneuver during Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 26, 2018. ATSO training focuses on improving the ability of Airmen to perform their duties during less than ideal circumstances and improving the unit’s response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tori Long)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Airmen assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing attended an Ability to Survive and Operate training on Jan. 26-27, 2018 at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The training consisted of replicated environments to assess Airmen’s ability to operate under extreme conditions.

“Any personnel who are tasked to deploy or will possibly deploy are required to have the training,” said Senior Airman Kayla Faver, a training instructor assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron. “We transitioned from the ‘Just in Time’ training to ATSO which allows Airmen to be ready to deploy at all times.”

The 6th SFS focused on integrated base defense where they discussed the role of every Airman in protecting the base and its assets.

“We talked about passive and active measures that we need to take every day, how to react to indirect fire, how to respond to near and far ambushes, some weapons familiarization with the M4 and M9,” said Faver. “We also hit on how to fix your weapon if it jams and some of the different types of reports an individual would use in the field.”

The training focused on being able to perform under stress to ensure the safety of all Airmen.

“I just hope that the Airmen took the training seriously, and they understand that they could be put into these types of situations,” said Faver. “Also, I hope that if they are ever put into these situations that they retained the training and are able to react accordingly to get them and their wingmen home safe.”

As well as integrated base defense, Airmen learned when to use mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear, how to identify unexploded ordnance, post attack reconnaissance teams, and contamination avoidance when transitioning between different zones.

“Airmen wear their MOPP gear during all of this training to reinforce the training they already have,” said Tech. Sgt. Roderick Gilmore, flight chief of readiness and emergency management assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron. “It also helps to manage expectations when wearing the gear and ensuring Airmen are comfortable with how to don and doff the equipment.”

The last part of the training consisted of hands-on first aid training where instructors practiced on training manikins.

“During the self-aid buddy care portion of the training Airmen focused on how to apply tourniquets and airway management,” said Gilmore. “Airmen actually got to apply a tourniquet to stop blood flow on a training dummy.”

The ATSO training allowed Airmen to get hands-on training for deployments by practicing simulated scenarios.

“Readiness is directly tied to our ability to win the fight,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Vickers, a unit deployment manager assigned to the 6th SFS. “We need to see that they are ready to survive and operate in the environment being replicated so we know if we need to add further training or not.”

Through training, like ATSO, Airmen are given the opportunity to experience simulated environments that require them to think on their feet and act fast to ensure they are effective as wingmen.