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Airmen simulate deployment to Korea

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Challenging opposition forces, Senior Airman Norma Alvarez, of the 30th Security Forces Squadron, fires her M249 light machine gun during a North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. At the North Star exercise, Airmen are taught to positively identify the enemy during an attack before firing their weapon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher 
Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Challenging opposition forces, Senior Airman Norma Alvarez, of the 30th Security Forces Squadron, fires her M249 light machine gun during a North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. At the North Star exercise, Airmen are taught to positively identify the enemy during an attack before firing their weapon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson, of the 30th Medical Support Squadron, listens to briefings with other Airmen of Team V during the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The formation included safety briefings, rules of engagement, weapons awareness and words of inspiration from the North Star commander. (U.S. Air force photo/ Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson, of the 30th Medical Support Squadron, listens to briefings with other Airmen of Team V during the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The formation included safety briefings, rules of engagement, weapons awareness and words of inspiration from the North Star commander. (U.S. Air force photo/ Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Staring down his sight, Senior Airman David Haldi, of the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, reacts to the sound of gun shots during a North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. North Star is an exercise that helps Vandenberg Airmen prepare for deployment taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Staring down his sight, Senior Airman David Haldi, of the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, reacts to the sound of gun shots during a North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. North Star is an exercise that helps Vandenberg Airmen prepare for deployment taskings. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Taking initiative, Tech. Sgt. David Smith, of the 30th Launch Group, helps construct the medical tent during the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise prepares Airmen for real world situations and wartime contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Taking initiative, Tech. Sgt. David Smith, of the 30th Launch Group, helps construct the medical tent during the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise prepares Airmen for real world situations and wartime contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Staff Sgt Antonio Brandy and Staff Sgt. Shawn Warwick, both of the 30th Security Forces Squadron, make their way to a defensive firing position during a simulated direct fire attack here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise tests airmen on reacting to indirect and direct fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Staff Sgt Antonio Brandy and Staff Sgt. Shawn Warwick, both of the 30th Security Forces Squadron, make their way to a defensive firing position during a simulated direct fire attack here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise tests airmen on reacting to indirect and direct fire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - An Airman of Team V fills her canteen with water during the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise lasts two days and includes fundamentals training, processing a simulated deployment line and two days in the field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - An Airman of Team V fills her canteen with water during the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise lasts two days and includes fundamentals training, processing a simulated deployment line and two days in the field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Senior Airman Jhordimae Cardenas, of the 30th Medical Support Squadron, helps her team construct the medical tent for the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The beginning of the North Star exercise is focused on safety briefing and construction of the simulated camp (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Senior Airman Jhordimae Cardenas, of the 30th Medical Support Squadron, helps her team construct the medical tent for the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The beginning of the North Star exercise is focused on safety briefing and construction of the simulated camp (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Staff Sgt. Mercury Guemo, of the 30th Medical Support Squadron, tightens a rope to support a medical tent for the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The medical tent is used for real world and exercise related emergencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Staff Sgt. Mercury Guemo, of the 30th Medical Support Squadron, tightens a rope to support a medical tent for the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The medical tent is used for real world and exercise related emergencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Airmen of Team V work together in preparation of the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise prepares Airmen for real world situations and wartime contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Airmen of Team V work together in preparation of the North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. The North Star exercise prepares Airmen for real world situations and wartime contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Aiming down range, Staff Sgt. Christopher Abadie, of the 30th Security Forces Squadron, reacts to opposition forces and returns fire during a North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. Airmen of Team V use are evaluated on key parts of their previous training to prepare them for real world emergencies and wartime contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Aiming down range, Staff Sgt. Christopher Abadie, of the 30th Security Forces Squadron, reacts to opposition forces and returns fire during a North Star exercise here Thursday, June 10, 2010. Airmen of Team V use are evaluated on key parts of their previous training to prepare them for real world emergencies and wartime contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Hubenthal)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- More than 70 Airmen participated in the base's quarterly North Star exercise here June 7-11.

The exercise was designed to simulate a deployment to Kwangju and Taegu, South Korea, where Airmen were challenged to react to an active shooter scenario, survive chemical and biological attacks, demonstrate self-aid and buddy care techniques and work through other bare-base defense situations.

Airmen attended a two day pre-deployment training held at Cocheo Park to prepare for an upcoming field exercise at North Star. While at Cocheo Park, Airmen were refreshed on basic military techniques with the Exercise Evaluation Team - a team ultimately responsible for evaluating and coaching the Airmen. The Airmen also went through a simulated deployment processing line at the base's flight line.

"The pre-deployment training consisting of Wartime Skills and Ability to Survive and Operate training greatly enhanced deployed personnel's knowledge and practical application capabilities during the exercise," said James Haleski, an EET instructor.

After out-processing, the Airmen boarded buses and traveled to North Star, a remote on-base location. Once at North Star, Airmen from various units on base, set up the camp. Members from the 30th Medical Group had the responsibility of constructing a tent to be used for real-world as well as exercise-related medical issues.

"Depending on the situation of a deployment, a medical facility may already be built, however, in the case that a member deploys to a bare base, having the skill to build a shelter can become very helpful," said Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson, the 30th Medical Operation Squadron superintendent. "This has been a great learning experience because it gives me an idea of how prepared my team is for a deployment."

After the base was built, a simulated surprise attack was aimed at the Airmen. Opposition forces were staged around the base delivering hostile fire.

"The attack was really realistic," said Senior Airman Norma Alavarez, of the 30th Security Forces Squadron. "I've deployed before and I know how real the threat of enemy fire is. The training provided was useful for real-world situations."

Throughout the remainder of the exercise, Airmen faced numerous challenges. Some of the scenarios were designed to challenge Airmen physically, while others were more mental or technical. Overall, the 70 Airmen from various squadrons worked together and completed the exercise.

"As a team, the camp was motivated and performed well," said Mr. Haleski.