FORT MCCOY, Wis. — Four Army Reserve Chemical Corps detachments
have come together to take part in multiple training exercises
aligned with the 86th Training Division's Combat Support Training
Exercise (CSTX) held Aug 19, 2015.
The 490th Chemical
Battalion, Anniston, Alabama, is the main Chemical Corps
organization situated here in CSTX, while its subordinate units are
the 320th Chemical Company from Fort Totten, New York, the 411th
Chemical Company from Edison, New Jersey, and the 334th Chemical
Company from Marysville, Washington.
Spc. Isae Rodriguez, a chemical operations specialist with the 334th Chemical Battalion, Marysville, Wash., adjusts the camera of the Biological Integrated Detection System prior to operational use Aug. 19 during the Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) at Fort McCoy, Wis. The training replicates real-world missions which develops the units' abilities to successfully plan, prepare, and provide combat service support. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Christopher A. Hernandez, 345th Public Affairs Detachment)
“We've also brought in units across the United States,
including some from the National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Hui
Chae Kim, commander of the 490th Chemical Battalion. “We've
thus formed Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
and Nuclear (CBRN), and designated our teams as
reconnaissance, biological surveillance, and decontamination
“We've set the conditions for a great
training exercise, and the morale is high for Soldiers in
the [CBRN] units,” Kim added.
commanders of their respective CBRN units have also outlined
a number of goals and expectations from their Soldiers
during the CSTX.
“We're here not only to conduct our
training, but to do it safely as well,” said 1st. Lt. Joshua
Donaldson, interim commander of the 334th Chemical Company.
“Our goal is to get as much out of this exercise as possible
and utilize all of the assets available to us.”
of the major components of CBRN operations is biological
surveillance, which is done utilizing a state-of-the-art,
transportable platform known as the Biological Integrated
Detection System (BIDS).
“The BIDS is the heart of
our system,” said Donaldson. “It draws samples from the air
and detects biological agents of all kinds."
gets a hit, the BIDS will draw the sample out, the sample
gets securely packaged, we get it ready for transfer and
transport, process the documentation for it, take it to a
sample transfer point, do a change of custody, and then hand
the sample over so it can go to a lab for analysis,”
Donaldson stressed it's
important that CBRN personnel — regardless of their
specified role in any mission — remain proactive and be
ready to act at all times.
“Our motto is ‘We Detect
to Treat,' so if we do get a positive hit, we'll notify
medical staff and they'll start taking measures to treat
whatever agent was detected in the atmosphere,” said
Routine operations of biological
surveillance with BIDS usually require at least four
Soldiers at any given time.
“We usually have two
Soldiers enclosed inside the BIDS and a Humvee support
vehicle with two more Soldiers who stand by and act as eyes
and ears for them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Darrell Gosnell, a
CBRN specialist with the 320th Chemical Company.
other essential parts of CBRN are the multiple types of
reconnaissance missions designed to immediately detect any
contaminated areas, secure and blockade those areas, and
then begin the thorough decontamination process.
“Thorough decontamination is simply a complete wash of all
vehicles and personnel,” said Gosnell. “Meanwhile, the
reconnaissance teams we have typically do area, route, and
point types of reconnaissance."
“For example, the
recon teams would come across a disabled vehicle suspected
of contamination, then they secure the area and
decontaminate it with their test kits and all of the other
equipment that they have,” Gosnell explained.
meticulous steps are taken so that friendly forces can
navigate through their routes as quickly and safely as
“We are ensuring area security to support
freedom of maneuverability,” added Kim.
CBRN specialists who administered the appropriate treatment
must go through a thorough decontamination process
“When we come back from decontamination
missions, we go through various stations such as removing
all of our gear and receiving a warm, cleansing shower,”
said Spc. Adrian Martinez, a CBRN specialist with the 307th
Chemical Company, Bell, California.
Overall, CSTX and
its training events has been a positive experience for the
CBRN specialists taking part of it.
“CSTX has been a
great training opportunity for Soldiers within the CBRN
community and we're ready, resilient and our Soldiers have
been empowered to provide commanders and their peers the
enablers for unified land operations,” Kim said.
chemical units began their training exercise here Aug. 7,
with the majority of these units finishing their training
events through Aug. 28 during CSTX.
CSTX is a
multi-component and joint endeavor which is aligned with
other reserve component exercises including Diamond Saber,
Trans Warrior and Exportable Combat Training Capability.
By U.S. Army 345th Public Affairs
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