PRANG FSRT Airmen, ready to respond
By Tech. Sgt. Rafael Rosa, 156th Wing/Public Affairs
/ Published November 13, 2020
MUÑIZ AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Puerto Rico --
The 156th Force Support Squadron’s Fatality Search and Recovery Team, conducted a three-day training exercise to maintain equipment familiarization and fatality handling procedures.
An FSRT specializes in the recovery of human remains in a mass fatality incident. The FSRT can respond to a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or non-CBRN incident.
This training exercise provides Puerto Rico Air National Guard FSRT Airmen the opportunity to execute their role in a controlled environment, while refreshing knowledge and technical aspects to their processes. Being the only CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) detachment on the island that can be activated independently, it is imperative the team is always ready to respond within 6 to 8 hours of an emergency.
“We are the only specialized team in Puerto Rico that has the ability to collect fatalities in hazardous environments such as chemical, biological and radiological, with the exception of the local forensics department,” said Tech. Sgt. Carlos Ortega, an FSRT observer controller trainer with the 156th FSS.
This training helps prepare the FSRT to support the Air National Guard, state and federal missions during a real world event and future evaluations. The 156th FSS FSRT has an upcoming evaluation in March 2021. In past evaluations, the team has scored zero discrepancies and plans to continue their stride of excellence.
The PRANG FSRT is currently working on a memorandum of agreement to work hand-in-hand with the local forensics department, quarterly, to have the team process real world fatalities at their facilities. This additional training will help prepare the team in the event of an unexpected incident.
“With this training we ensure our 156th FSRT is trained, equipped and ready to support the local authorities during a domestic emergency,” said Capt. Emire Rodriguez, the 156th FSS FSRT officer in charge. “I am confident that my team is ready to support any mission assigned while maintaining the dignity of the deceased with respect at the scene of a mass casualty.”