Sioux City Fire Department and 185th Team Up for Annual “White Powder” Exercise

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Rich Murphy
  • 185th Public Affairs
The 185th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) and the Sioux City Fire Department teamed up Friday for a "White Powder" exercise. The exercise tests Sioux City's hazardous materials (HAZMAT) experts' ability to deal with a potential chemical threat.

During this year's exercise, members from both the Sioux City Fire Department and the 185th ARW responded to a simulated report of a white powdery substance found in a post office. Exercise participants proceeded to report, control, test, and remove potentially the simulated substances.

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Clark, a member of the Sioux City Fire Department and the city's HAZMAT coordinator led the exercise. "We try to work with the 185th as often as possible. Typically, if something like this occurs on base, the 185th would be the first responders. So it is good to work together and make sure we are on the same page."

The 185th ARW conducts the "White Powder" exercise annually to assess the unit's ability to respond to chemical threats. Senior Master Sgt. William Davlin, a member of the 185th's Disaster Response Team, said this exercise is part of a larger training program. "We do disaster response training every quarter, but it is important that we get out and exercise disaster scenarios to ensure that our airmen and the community are prepared."

Lt. Col. Stephanie Samenus, the Mission Support Commander at the 185th ARW, said these type of exercises reinforce the relationship between the unit and the community. "While we are a unit ready to deploy anywhere in the world, we also have a responsibility to our community. We need to be sure we are ready to respond to threats at home as well."

This year, the exercise focused on a white, powdery substance found in a simulated post office. After carrying out the necessary precautions, the Disaster Response Team discovered that the potentially dangerous substance was actually Malt-O-Meal® and Whey Protein Powder.

For more information about the 185th ARW's Disaster Response Team, HAZMAT procedures, contact the 185th at

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