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694th ISRG holds ATSO rodeo

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eric Burks
  • 7th Air Force Public Affairs

Approximately 200 Airmen from the 694th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group participated in an Ability to Survive and Operate rodeo at Osan Air Base, April 26, 2024.

Col. Amanda Figueroa, 694th ISRG commander, directed the training event to provide members of the 694 ISRG the opportunity to complete Ready Airman Training objectives.

“The national security environment is more challenging today than it has been at any point in the last 30 years. We must be ready to fight through a crisis, to think sharply even in the face of combat,” Figueroa said.

“The ATSO rodeo was designed to execute Ready Airmen Training in a non-standard setting, and accomplish requirements in a fun and engaging way that built comradery and maximized the value of our Airmen’s time,” she said.

The training covered marking and donning of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear gear, communication in Mission Oriented Protective Posture Level 4, Post Attack Reconnaissance basics, contamination control area lines, and gas mask inspection.

Tech. Sgt. Zephram Koepke, 694th ISRG, Group Exercise and Plans NCOIC, developed the initial ATSO rodeo training plan, which was further refined by Capt Alydia Ball, 694th ISRG CCQ section commander.

“Overall, the event was very successful,” Koepke said. “Each member was able to fulfill four RAT objectives while participating in a friendly competition. We received feedback from participants and facilitators and will be implementing some of their suggestions in the next iteration of the training in the fall.”

Going forward, he said, they will continue to refine the training and plan to hold the event twice a year.

“Once we are satisfied with our results, we will look for ways to expand the training,” Koepke said.

In closing the event, Lt. Col. Travis McGarry, 694th ISRG deputy commander, said, “As we demonstrate that we are ready not just to survive but to fight through whatever may be thrown at us, we make our adversaries question their readiness. And they recognize that today is not their day.”