NATO’s Toxic Trip 2007 exercise

by Tech. Sgt. James Lewis
1st Combat Communications Squadron

***image1***It was a toxic trip that will lead to better preparation against a full spectrum of threats.

Recently, a 15-person combined Air Force and Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear team went to Karup Air Base, Denmark, to participate in this year’s NATO Exercise Toxic Trip 2007.

The 16-nation, 126-person exercise allowed sharing and evaluation of each other’s CBRN techniques and procedures. This year’s exercise format changed from demonstration of each nation’s capabilities to a scenario-driven “real time” exercise.

The 1st Combat Communications Squadron deployed a small two-man team Broadband Global Area Network package with U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s Full Spectrum Threat Response Strike Team, to provide non-secure and secure voice and data reach-back capabilities.

This test of the concept for USAFE FSTR-ST allows FSTR-ST leadership the ability to send situational reports to higher echelons of leadership anytime, anywhere. These situational reports provide a common operating picture with real-time information to higher headquarters leaders within USAFE and 3rd Air Force. This capability, that was not available previously, will tremendously increase command and control proficiency.

“This multi-nation exercise was a success,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alfred Casale, USAFE’s Emergency Management Functional Area Manager who championed the USAFE’s demonstration. “The Toxic Trip ‘07 exercise allowed us to prove the concept that we could combine USAFE personnel from several different bases, as well as personnel from USAREUR’s Emergency Management Assessment Team and provide EUCOM and even NATO with an effective CBRN response.”

Additionally, the team proved that it could establish instantaneous communication with the decision makers at the operational level, he said.
The exercise participation was significant enough to show the importance of CBRN in today’s world climate.