The Field Live Chemical Agent Training Facility located at Vyskov, Czech Republic has played host to the latest stage of specific to role training for the Abu Dhabi Directorate General of Security and Port Affairs.

Trainees from Abu Dhabi were finally given the chance to put the skills they have learnt from their training into practice in a real chemical environment.

With the sun and temperature somewhat unlike their normal work environment, the trainees’ first task was to gain confidence in the equipment and more importantly themselves – after all, it’s not every day you face a cocktail of live chemical warfare agents.

With confidence gained through the progressive use of simulants followed by live agents, the basics of agent identification and behaviour in the field were soon behind them.

By early mid week the training moved up a gear when trainees were faced with specific to role scenarios at both the individual and team level. These scenarios were designed by Hotzone’s staff to allow students the chance to experience and analyse the difficulties involved when live chemical agent meets a potential explosive threat. Scenarios included leaking legacy munitions, chemical suicide vests and remotely operated under-vehicle spray devices, which incorporated an explosive element. The intention of the latter was to initiate the need for team decontamination and undressing procedures.

The closing stages of the week saw the trainees being introduced to low-level radioactive sources where key lessons of dose rate mapping, dose management and instrument response were all practiced for the first time. This was in preparation for further radiation training at our partner facility, Seiberstordf Laboratories.

Much was learnt by the trainees, who will take home many areas for procedural development. In addition, the training also provided an opportunity for Hotzone’s trainers to conduct evaluation and analysis. The results will be used to further enhance similar training in order to benefit other trainees by providing training that is realistic, applicable and of course unique for the non-military sector.