Air Force Emergency Management Specialist – AFSC 3E9X

These airmen handle emergency operations around the world

Air Force emergency management specialist using tape to divide rows of evacuees from Haiti after a hurricane.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JANUARY 28: People are strapped int as they sit on a U.S. Airforce C-17 transport plane on January 28, 2010 January 28, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Air Force emergency management specialists are trained to handle recovery and response operations after natural disasters and man-made crises. Their goal is to reduce casualties and help those affected by a disaster to reach safety.

They develop plans and procedures to train and protect Air Force personnel to meet emergency management mission needs. These airmen can be sent to handle emergencies anywhere in the world, as needed.

The Air Force categorizes this job as Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 3E9X1. As the name suggests, this job falls into the Emergency Management (EM) career field.

Duties of Air Force Emergency Management Specialists

These airmen are tasked with preparing wartime and contingency response plans, and with researching and developing disaster preparedness plans with the goal of minimizing casualties and damage from natural disasters, military operations (including war) and major accidents, such as a plane crash. They're part of the teams that coordinate prompt response during disaster relief operations, including mobilizing resources and government organizations.

They also prepare, maintain and monitor Civil Engineer operations and plans, to assist with response and recovery operations, including assisting with contingency planning. These airmen manage equipment and supplies and keep track of inventories. Part of their duties includes conducting nuclear, biological and chemical detection and warning activities. They also conduct training and prepare for any peacetime response to the use of weapons of mass destruction.


To be eligible for this job, you’ll need a high school diploma or its equivalent and should have taken classes in algebra, biology, physics, chemistry, and speech.

You have to have normal color vision and depth perception and no history of claustrophobia. You'll also need to have a valid state driver’s license because you'll likely be driving government vehicles. Airmen in this job need to be able to speak distinctly, a key skill in the case of an emergency when they'll likely have to be giving orders and instructions under extreme duress.

Airmen in this job need a score of 62 in the general (G) qualification area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. This composite score is derived from the Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Arithmetic Reasoning sub-tests of the ASVAB.

They also must be able to qualify for a secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. This involves undergoing a background investigation which can take several weeks or even months to complete. Personal conduct and finances will be examined, and any history of drug or alcohol abuse could be disqualifying.


Following basic training and Airman's Week, airmen in this job attend technical training at the Army's CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear) School at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. The length of technical training can vary from 67 days to 500 days, depending on the area of specialization the airman is working in.

This training is followed by a CBRN Responder course, which qualifies graduates to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction and CBRN incidents.