Combined Interoperability CBRN Defence in Air Operations Exercise »Toxic Trip 14« (TT14) was held in FRA Air Force Base Cazaux from 26 September to 3 October 2014. It was hosted by Base Aerienne 120. There were 300 participants from 14 countries (AUS, BEL, CAN, DEU, DNK, EST, FRA, GBR, ITA, NOR, SVN, SWE, TUR and USA) and NATO organizations (NATO School Oberammergau and Joint Air Power Competence Centre).

TT14 was another one in the long line of Toxic Trip exercises (organized since 1995) with the aim:

  1. To train different aspects of CBRN defence related with air operations in a multinational scenario;
  2. To train personnel in the deployment of mobile and transportable collective CBRN shelters and to use them in conjunction with other nations’ air assets;
  3. To increase the level of interoperability among NATO and partner nations in order to conduct the procedures of donning/doffing aircrew CBRN ensembles and provide technical support;
  4. To contribute to the understanding for the need of common procedures;
  5. To discuss and analyse the current status of CBRN defence as it relates to present/future requirements and to assess the training implications derived from emerging threats;
  6. To identify lessons that have evolved from the exercise and draw conclusions that will support nations in improving their CBRN defence training methods and procedures.

During the Cross Training phase (29-30 Sep) participants had a chance to see all capabilities and tactics, techniques and procedures of participating units were seen. It was again a great benefit and highly appreciated part of the exercise.

The scenario during the hot phase (1-2 Oct) put units to multinational joint environment and all incidents played during the exercise required harmonized team work of all CBRN units from 8 nations (BEL, CAN, DEU, FRA, GBR, ITA, TUR and USA). There were four main events and each of them had a number of incidents:

  1. Hard landing of a helicopter from a contaminated air base;
  2. Landing of a contaminated damaged jet fighter;
  3. Chemical missile attack on our own air base;
  4. Mass decontamination of personnel.

Participants were tasked to conduct different tasks such as area reconnaissance, first aid to injured personnel, pilot extraction, aircraft decontamination, area cordon, dealing with EOD, sampling, personnel decontamination including injured people etc.

JCBRN Defence COE participated with one member as Lessons Identified / Lessons Learned Team Leader. The team of 19 participants from different nations, services and organizations (some of them came as exercise observers, some were members of national contingents) generated more than 150 observations. After analysis they will be used by participants during their training sessions in preparation for real missions and implemented into TT15.

At last, it is worth mentioning the excellent host nation support provided by Base Arienne 120 of FRA Air Force. Additional information about Toxic Trip exercises could be found on Toxic Trip part of JCBRND COE's web page – http://toxictrip.jcbrncoe.cz/. See you in Toxic Trip 15!


Author: CPT Gorazd STERGAR (SVN)

Photo: Peter MEENEN (DEU)