RDECOM C&B Team Trains U.S. Soldiers Abroad

CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | August 28th, 2018

SSG Silguero (left), SGT Estes (center), and SGT Niver (right) work through the construction of a small scale laboratory setup.

The 23rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion (BN) stationed in South Korea took part in a series of trainings to improve knowledge of CBRN threats and ability to assess, exploit and mitigate CBRN hazards.

The 23rd CBRN BN had the opportunity to refine their skills while also receiving advanced instruction in other areas such as lab processes. Warfighters improved their recognition of chemical and biological agent production processes through the training, which was provided by a team of scientists from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Chemical & Biological (RDECOM C&B) Center and National Guard Bureau Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch.

The training consisted of basic chemistry, overview of biological agents, introduction to laboratory set-ups, sampling operations and a Tabletop Exercise (TTX) where trainees were required to evaluate a lab setup, identify the set-up, determine appropriate equipment, and establish the most effective and safe area to take a representative sample.

Continually learning and honing skills is especially important to the 23rd CBRN BN.

“The 23d CBRN is the only CBRN BN on the Korean Peninsula. No one else can do what we do,” explained Army Chief Warrant Officer, Mazie Benefield. “They rely on us to assess, exploit and mitigate CBRN Hazards so maneuver forces can accomplish their mission.”

Provided by the Advanced CBRNE Training Team, the training is provided for clients around the globe to better prepare them for future missions in which contact with CBRN threats may occur.

The Advanced CBRNE Training Team, located at the RDECOM C&B Center, provides a direct relationship between the subject matter experts and customers in support of CBRN awareness and readiness.

“Our mission is to support the warfighter – we’ve dedicated our science to their operational success,” said Carrie Poore, Ph.D., Advanced CBRNE Training Branch Chief and Biologist.

“We apply our science in the field and impart our knowledge on customers so they understand the science and the equipment to ensure they have a knowledge base about threats they may face and how to think critically, applying what they’ve learned in training to assess and mitigate those threats.”

Trainings vary depending on the customer’s mission and can have as little as one person participating or as many as 300. Additionally, trainings take place in a variety of settings but usually include a mix of classroom time and field work to ensure trainees receive the hands-on experience that best aids them in accomplishing their mission efficiently and safely.

“Our team always trains the end-user based on their specific mission and the circumstances of which they may encounter,” said Poore.

The trainings provided were well received by the 24 trainees who always welcome more knowledge and understanding to better handle the threats they may encounter in the field. Future trainings may consist of longer timeframes, deep-diving into solely chemical or biological threats.

“Trainings like these help us improve our capabilities and our teamwork.” said Benefield. “Anytime Soldiers get an opportunity to do training like this in smaller groups, it fosters team building and everyone gets more out of the training.”

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (CCDC Chemical Biological Center) is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering and field operations. The Center has achieved major technological advances for the warfighter and for our national defense, with a long and distinguished history of providing the armed forces with quality systems and outstanding customer service. The CCDC Chemical Biological Center is located at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.