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Readiness in a post-COVID world

Tech. Sgt. Javier Mendoza, 940th Air Refueling Wing ground transport technician, and Staff Sgt. Jazmyn Sumrall-McCavley, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron distribution operations technician, assist each other in securing the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear overcoat hood to the M50 gas mask June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Tech. Sgt. Javier Mendoza, 940th Air Refueling Wing ground transport technician, and Staff Sgt. Jazmyn Sumrall-McCavley, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron distribution operations technician, assist each other in securing the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear overcoat hood to the M50 gas mask June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Properly securing the hood ensures complete protection from nuclear, chemical, and biological threats. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

Airmen assigned to the 940th Air Refueling wing wait to enter the Civil Engineer warehouse June 13 at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Airmen assigned to the 940th Air Refueling wing wait to enter the Civil Engineer warehouse June 13 at Beale Air Force Base, California. Due to COVID-19, Airmen must maintain six feet of separation between each other. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

Staff Sgt. Gilbert Brooks, assigned to the 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron secures his chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear trousers June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Staff Sgt. Gilbert Brooks, assigned to the 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron secures his chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear trousers June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The CBRN trousers protect the wearer from nuclear, chemical, and biological threats. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

Staff Sgt. Gilbert Brooks, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron decentralized material supply technician, inspects his gas mask June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Staff Sgt. Gilbert Brooks, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron decentralized material supply technician, inspects his gas mask June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The M50 gas Mask protects the wearer from nuclear, chemical, and biological threats. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

Staff Sgt. Omar M. Mincey, 940th Air Refueling Wing emergency manager, inspects the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear uniform of Staff Sgt. Gilbert Brooks, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron decentralized material supply technician, June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Staff Sgt. Omar M. Mincey, 940th Air Refueling Wing emergency manager, inspects the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear uniform of Staff Sgt. Gilbert Brooks, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron decentralized material supply technician, June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California. To complete training, Airmen must demonstrate proficiency in donning the CBRN protective outfit. (U.S Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

Tech. Sgt. Javier Mendoza, 940th Air Refueling Wing ground transport technician, checks the seal on his gas mask June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Tech. Sgt. Javier Mendoza, 940th Air Refueling Wing ground transport technician, checks the seal on his gas mask June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The M50 gas mask will not provide protection if it is not tightly fit to the wearer. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

Airmen assigned to the 940th Air Refueling Wing practice donning their chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective uniform June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California.

Airmen assigned to the 940th Air Refueling Wing practice donning their chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective uniform June 13, 2020, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Airmen are required to fully don their CBRN uniform in a maximum of two minutes. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Marko L. Salopek)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California --

The June 2020 unit training assembly marked the first time the 940th Emergency Management Office conducted chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training in a post-coronavirus environment.

According to Tech. Sgt. Jim R. Stonebarger, a 940th Air Refueling Wing emergency manager, prior to COVID-19, the Air Force Instruction dictated that emergency management could conduct training, but limited them to a single event per year. This was typically accomplished in one large group.

In light of COVID-19, Stonebarger said that the AFI had been modified to allow emergency management to conduct training in a setting that would comply with health and safety requirements.

The mass training originally scheduled for June UTA weekend was adjusted to follow social distancing and group size restrictions. It was broken up into classes with 10 Reservists each, held at five separate locations across Beale Air Force Base.

“As an instructor, we prefer the smaller classes because we can focus more with the individuals,” said Stonebarger. “The mass classes, especially when you get to that one-to-30 instructor ratio, make it difficult to personalize the class.”

The smaller class sizes was also well-received by students.

“It was very informative, yet quick and to the point,” said Staff Sgt. Jazmyn Sumrall-McCavley, 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron distribution operations technician.

Even after COVID-19 restriction are lifted in the future, Stonebarger said it is likely that the small CBRNE Defense class sizes will be here to stay.