Post Attack Reconnaissance vital to base recovery

  • Published
  • By Robert Kaschak
  • 452 AMW Emergency Management

As we continue on our quest to resurrect our war time skills, one of the duties vital to a successful base recovery is Post Attack Reconnaissance (PAR).  This event involves critical tasks to be accomplished once the attack is over, and it is now time to recover the base, ensure personnel protection and get ready to fly aircraft. To this end, we train and deploy these specialized teams to perform essential duties that will allow for proper threat assessment and safe mission accomplishment. These "PAR Teams" are the eyes and ears of command and control once the attack is over, and they provide invaluable information in determining a plan of action to execute the next phase of base response.


 Every occupied building will have as part of its makeup a PAR team, dedicated personnel who will be responsible to survey the area around the proximity of their building and report all findings.  There is strict protocol to this procedure as information will flow up the chain of command to the Unit Control Center (UCC) which is, in turn, up channeled to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Direction to release the PAR teams goes back down the chain from the EOC to the UCC to the facility manager who will then release the teams to accomplish their tasks. Remembering the alarm signal structure from previous article, all this happens during Alarm Black, Limited Release phase of the recovery process.


PAR teams are comprised of two personnel at a minimum. Not likely to be larger than that as it is better to have several teams in order to rotate personnel and allow for rest cycles. Personnel are assigned to a PAR team and receive specialized training from the Emergency Management office to include observing M8 paper for contamination, map reading, route surveying, covering assets, identify and mark contamination, UXO identification process, radio protocol, command structure and specific duties to be accomplished. Additionally, they will have a list of supplies and equipment which will allow them to perform all these functions. The training provided is similar to CBRNE skills training; however, more comprehensive with emphasis on additional wartime taskings and reporting.


The bottom line is an expedient and effective recovery is not possible without the PAR team input. Their information allows command and control to paint a picture of the base condition, identify contaminated areas and, possibly, depending on the information received, allow for the implementation of split MOPP in areas which are considered clean. Split MOPP means we can reduce the thermal burden by removing the mask and gloves to facilitate mission completion.  Successfully recovering from an attack is a complicated process requiring awareness, quick reaction and consistent communication. The PAR team function is absolutely paramount in completing the recovery endeavor. So, if you are assigned to this task for the ATSO exercise, understand the importance of your role in contributing to a successful outcome and give it your best effort. Your efforts will be significant in making team March successful.