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Thermal Stress Awareness

The goal of the thermal stress management program is to prevent heat-related injuries through education and monitoring. Monitoring is conducted May through October when temperatures are expected to reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit as a daily high and during readiness exercises. The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) measurements take into account air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air speed, and absolute humidity. Flag conditions listed in Table 1 change based on the WBGT measurements reported by the Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight and Risner Gym.

What does a flag condition change mean?
Flag condition changes are recommendations, not directives or requirements, for Commanders to observe work/rest cycles and to enhance awareness of heat conditions and monitoring for signs of heat illness. Flag conditions are intended for use by 18th Wing, tenant units, local and U.S. civilian employees, and U.S. Forces (non Air Force) on Kadena AB but may be used by everyone on Kadena AB to increase awareness of current heat conditions.

Where can I find the current flag condition?
Currently the Risner gym maintains the current flag condition on the flag pole in front of the gym and Command Post provides email notification to all Kadena AB military personnel when Black flag is reached or no longer present. Soon, the base will utilize the ADHOC base notification system instead of email to alert personnel when Black flag is reached or no longer present. When wearing body armor (IPE), add 5 degrees to WBGT measurement for the correct flag condition. When wearing MOPP gear, chemical protection clothing (tyvek suits), or fire-fighting gear add 10 degrees. Add 15 degrees to WBGT measurement when wearing IPE and MOPP gear.

What are the symptoms of heat stress/illness?
Some of the signs and symptoms of heat stress are muscle cramps, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, paleness, excessive sweating, confusion, and extreme weakness.

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms of heat stress or notice someone else is showing signs/symptoms of heat stress?
If you, or someone around you is experiencing these symptoms, move affected individual to cool shaded area, loosen restrictive clothing, have them sip water slowly, and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.

Where can I find more information on thermal stress?
Your commander is responsible for ensuring initial and annual training is provided to all assigned personnel in the recognition of symptoms and prevention of heat illnesses in accordance with AFPAM 48-151. Commanders and supervisors should review AFPAM 48-151 and AFPAM 48-151 Kadena AB Supplement.

Table 1
    Work Rest
Water Intake
Work Rest
Water Intake
Work Rest
Water Intake
1 (White) 78 - 81.9 No limit 0.5 No limit 0.75 40/20 min 0.75
2 (Green) 82 - 84.9 No limit 0.5 50/10 min 0.75 30/30 min 1.0
3 (Yellow) 85 - 87.9 No limit 0.75 40/20 min 0.75 30/30 min 1.0
4 (Red) 88 - 89.9 No limit 0.75 30/30 min 0.75 20/40 min 1.0
5 (Black) >90 50/10 min 1.0 20/40 min 1.0 10/50 min 1.0

Work Intensity Examples
-- Walking on hard surface @
2.5 mph with < 30 lb load

-- Weapon Maintenance

-- Manual of Arms

-- Marksmanship Training

-- Drill and Ceremony

--Walking on hard surface @
3.5 mph with < 40 lb load

-- Walking loose sand @ 2.5 mph with no load

-- Patrolling

-- Low crawl, high crawl

-- Defensive position construction

-- Field Assaults
-- Walking on hard surface @
3.5 mph with > 40 lb load

-- Walking on loose sand @
2.5 mph with load