The US Air Force’s (USAF) major command Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) has conducted the first test to validate counter-chemical warfare tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP).

The test was carried out by a PACAF joint team, comprising of subject matter experts and other representatives, deployed at the USAF Kunsan Air Base (AB) in South Korea.

The tests were performed as part of the service’s next-generation aircrew protection programme, which aims to ensure that the country’s aircrew can proper access to the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protective equipment.

It further ensures that the CBRN measures implemented by the forces are modernised and can effectively counter future threats, while maintaining peak human performance at the same time.

PACAF Aircrew Flight Equipment (AFE) major command functional manager chief master sergeant Charles Hall said: “Current aircrew and pilot CBRN protective equipment are effective but restrictive and burdensome, thus hindering combat effectiveness.

“The USAF realised this in late 2021 and early 2022 and set aside about $16m to conduct research on aircraft, ground and air testing across various platforms to collect quantitative and qualitative data.”

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As part of the latest test, the deployed aircrew safely and efficiently evaluated different updated CBRN TTPs by ‘stepping, launching and recovering’ a flying mission.

The test was executed in a simulated chemical-filled environment, allowing researchers to refine current TTPs to maintain combat readiness for supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

PACAF AFE command manager senior master sergeant Ryan Rios said: “Wing commanders have an associated risk attached to nearly every decision they make.

“With the integrated data and refined TTPs, wing commanders now have additional information to help them make those tough decisions and continue executing their mission should CBRN event occur.”