Wing trains with area first responders

Members of the South Jersey Transportion Authority Fire Department and Atlantic County Hazmat are decontaminated for an exercise on May 10.  The 177th Fighter Wing, located at Atlantic City International Airport, NJ, hosted the training with local agencies.  U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

Members of the South Jersey Transportion Authority Fire Department and Atlantic County Hazmat are decontaminated for an exercise on May 10. The 177th Fighter Wing, located at Atlantic City International Airport, NJ, hosted the training with local agencies. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

New Jersey Air National Guardsman Master Sgt. Donald Meddings is checked out by Emergency Medical Technicians from the South Jersey Transportation Authority on May 10 during an exercise. The 177th Fighter Wing, located in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, participated with local fire departments and rescue crews for this training scenario.  Meddings is a Security Forces flight chief assigned to the 177th Security Forces Squadron.  U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

New Jersey Air National Guardsman Master Sgt. Donald Meddings is checked out by Emergency Medical Technicians from the South Jersey Transportation Authority on May 10 during an exercise. The 177th Fighter Wing, located in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, participated with local fire departments and rescue crews for this training scenario. Meddings is a Security Forces flight chief assigned to the 177th Security Forces Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

New Jersey Air National Guardsman Staff. Sgt. John Hurley helps Tech. Sgt. David Niedzwiadek into a bomb suit on May 10 during an exercise.  Hurley and Niedzwiadek are both Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians assigned to the 177th Fighter Wing.  U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

New Jersey Air National Guardsman Staff. Sgt. John Hurley helps Tech. Sgt. David Niedzwiadek into a bomb suit on May 10 during an exercise. Hurley and Niedzwiadek are both Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians assigned to the 177th Fighter Wing. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

Members of the South Jersey Transportion Authority Fire Department and Atlantic County Hazmat suit up for an exercise on May 10.  The 177th Fighter Wing, located at Atlantic City International Airport, NJ, hosted the training with local agencies.  U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

Members of the South Jersey Transportion Authority Fire Department and Atlantic County Hazmat suit up for an exercise on May 10. The 177th Fighter Wing, located at Atlantic City International Airport, NJ, hosted the training with local agencies. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

Egg Harbor Township, NJ -- Emergency response Airmen from the 177th Fighter Wing joined forces with South Jersey Transit Authority and the Atlantic County Hazardous Materials units in responding to a simulated threat at the wing May 10.

The responders were faced with the delivery of a simulated letter carrying anthrax spores.

"Having the different agencies respond and operate together creates a force multiplier and ensures emergency responders can work in concert to resolve threatening situations," said Exercise Evaluation Team Chief, Lt. Col. Jesse Arnstein. "The exercise was valuable in that it revealed some areas for us to improve upon."

These operations familiarize and combine the skills of military and civilian emergency personnel in an exercise environment as well as identify any potential problem areas. This combined approach will help reduce or eliminate any danger to people and property.

"At the same time, we want to ensure that the flying mission will continue during terrorist threats and attacks to our base," said Arnstein.

By coordinating before exercises, and practicing during the actual scenario, the Wing can learn lessons that will enable it to improve and refine joint operations and be better prepared to effectively respond and operate during real-world emergency events.

"I'm pleased to see that the situation was resolved in a professional and cooperative manner, which gives me confidence that we can protect our citizens and military personnel if similar real-world events were to arise," said Arnstein. "The response was effective, thorough and timely."