Dover AFB Veterinary Treatment Facility, Warm Zone Team conduct decontamination training with MWDs

  • Published
  • By Mauricio Campino, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members of the Dover Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility, 436th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog section, and the 436th Medical Group Warm Zone Team held a training session on January 10, 2024, to practice the skills necessary to properly decontaminate MWDs and possibly save their lives in the aftermath of a nuclear, biological or chemical attack or spill.

“Military working dogs are part of the military family. We have to make sure we know how to care for them in any scenario,” said Tech. Sgt. Terrence Jasso, 436th Healthcare Operations Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of diagnostic imaging and Warm Zone Team leader.

In the event of an incident or an accident involving CBRN agents, the Warm Zone Team is responsible for decontaminating patients before they are triaged and treated, ensuring healthcare workers can help the wounded without becoming casualties themselves. The team holds monthly training days to practice donning protective equipment and setting up the decontamination tent. This month’s training went a step further. To ensure they know how to properly care for every member of Team Dover, the Warm Zone Team hosted members of the 436th SFS MWD section and staff from the Dover Veterinary Clinic.

“Decontamination of military working dogs is actually an annual requirement for our veterinary technicians,” said Capt. Alicia Bailey, Dover AFB Veterinary Treatment Facility officer in charge. “We really wanted to have a more hands-on training session as well as share this important knowledge.”

Bailey reached out to the Warm Zone Team to plan the event and within a week the vet clinic was able to set up a training session alongside the Warm Zone Team and members of the 436th SFS MWD section. During the training, Bailey covered the proper technique for decontaminating dogs and demonstrated how to safely restrain dogs for decontamination when the dog’s handler is incapacitated or unavailable to help.

“Training like this is important for all those who attended,” said Bailey. “Especially the Warm Zone Team because it’s not likely that veterinary technicians will be present following an incident involving CBRN agents in a deployed environment.”

The training was the first of its kind on Dover AFB and there are plans to continue involving all three sections to ensure the vet clinic staff and Warm Zone Team is fully capable of decontaminating MWDs.