AF Chemical Weapons Convention Exercise

  • Published
  • By Mr. David Allee'
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing International Treaty Compliance officer
An Air Force level Chemical Weapons Convention 301 On-Site compliance inspection exercise is set for Team McConnell, March 28, to April 1, 2011.

The 22nd Air Refueling Wing Treaty Compliance Officer is charged with coordinating Air Mobility Command's "first" base-wide, non-evaluated CWC exercise affecting the following units; 22nd ARW, 931st Air Refueling Group, Boeing, Spirit Aero Security and other tenant units. The Robert J. Dole Community Center, along with enlisted and officer parking lots will set the stage for host base support operations to a simulated international arms control on-site compliance inspection.

Approximately 100-150 personnel from U.S. government agencies, Air Force Defense Threat Reduction Agency, numerous major commands, government contractors, base TCOs and McConnell's best will merge into one cohesive team. The CWC goal is to demonstrate the United States Government is in full compliance with the CWC while safeguarding national security, proprietary and sensitive information. A CWC challenge inspection is one of the highest-profile activities in which you or this base may engage.

The CWC is a multi-national arms control treaty that prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, use and preparation for use of chemical weapons. It also prohibits a state party from assisting, encouraging or inducing, in any way, anyone to engage in any treaty-prohibited activity.

To ensure compliance, the CWC has a verification regime that includes routine on-site inspections and short-notice challenge inspections. The challenge inspection is based on a non-compliance allegation(s) and is very intrusive. All U.S. Air Force bases are subject to challenge inspections. A group effort from a multitude of personnel is required to fulfill CWC time-critical tasks.

During an actual inspection, these tasks may temporarily curtail or stop base operations. Because this inspection is seen as a challenge to the integrity of the United States, the most senior levels of the U.S. Government through the Department of Defense Host Team would focus on this base to ensure that the inspection is conducted successfully.

The CWC challenge inspection period begins with the notification that the base will be subject to an inspection and ends with the inspection team's departure at the conclusion of inspection activities. This period lasts for approximately 228 continuous hours (9 1/2 days) with 24-hour inspection-related operations. However, for this Air Force generated exercise, the timeline will be compressed down to 4 and half days to give our team a sampling of all required treaty compliance phases.

The Inspection Control Group conducts and manages day-to-day inspection related actions on the base or site. The ICG has an ICG Chief selected by the wing commander. There are nine subordinate teams under the ICG who implement time sensitive actions outlined in the Air Force CWC Inspection Support Manual. Base personnel will form and execute specific functional or operational duties such as; Base Preparation Team, Communication Team, Perimeter Team, Self-Monitoring Team, Local Escort Team, Administrative Team, Support Team, Transportation Team and Mandate Team.

The ICG team works aggressively to accomplish the U.S. inspection goal to demonstrate CWC compliance while protecting national security, proprietary or sensitive information within extremely demanding timelines. Team composition is approximate three to 12 members per team encompassing all affected organizations per functional area.

Team McConnell must be prepared to host teams, attend mandatory formations e.g., local escort and facility manager training, participate in selective interviews, provide hazardous records reviews and oversee intrusive on-site inspections in government, commercial and contractor owned facilities.
As always with all inspections; dress and appearance, bearing and behavior, positive attitudes, strong motivation and flexibility are important to a successful outcome. While the likelihood of an actual CWC inspection is low, it is one the U.S. cannot afford to fail.

Team McConnell was selected for this exercise to support execution of procedures in the Air Force CWC Inspection Support Manual to further improve our compliance methodology for arms control implementation. This exercise is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Team McConnell's Superior Warfighter all we do!