ARC platoon explores CBRN site

| July 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and  Photos by
Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Soldiers of the Active Response Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Platoon, 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, construct a decontamination line, in 15 minutes, on Ford Island at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, July 15. JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Soldiers of the 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, performed sensitive site exploration during a weeklong re-evaluation of the Active Response Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Platoon, with members from the 93rd Civil Support Team, a Hawaii National Guard unit, acting as observers, at Ford Island, here, July 15.

The ARC platoon, the newest addition to the 71st, and first in the Pacific, is a first responder unit that identifies known and unknown spills and CBRN hazards.

During the re-evaluation, the 71st’s mission was to go to the site and mitigate any radiological, chemical or biological issue, said Staff Sgt. Travis Johnson, ARC platoon sergeant.

The exercise involved three different scenarios to test the ARC platoon’s ability to react to various situations, but was also a stress test on the unit as a whole.

“Ultimately, we wanted to see how we stood when we put all our resources to the limit,” Johnson said.

The exercise was run under Title 32 conditions, whereby the governor and the state activates the 93rd CST and requests the 71st’s ARC team to provide support identifying hazards.

A robot from the 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, investigates an area’s safety for the platoon, on Ford Island, July 15.“(This is what) we do: identification of the hazard through piecing together clues from a hazard site and processing the samples through a HAZMAT ID and other tools,” said Capt. LeRhonda Washington, commander, 71st Chemical Co. “Clean up and other tasks are then designated to the state or post.” 

The Soldiers of the ARC platoon relied on their training to accomplish the mission, and with the help of a CBRN unmanned vehicle, designated safe zones for a decontamination line and entry points to hazard sites. 

“We had a lot of new troops that weren’t up to speed with procedures, but we overcame it with a lot of good, precise training,” Johnson said.

The unit focused on training with Level A decontamination suits, identifying hazardous material, using hazardous detection devices and setting up a decontamination line.

“We had some trouble initially with setting up the decontamination line, but with every rehearsal, we greatly improved our time and beat our 15-minute goal, today,” Washington said.

As the day wore on, the ARC platoon eventually accomplished its three objectives at a full platoon capacity, and recertified the platoon’s ARC status.

With the recertification and the ability of the 71st to be anywhere in the Pacific at a moment’s notice, the 71st reaffirms its presence as a theater-wide security asset. However, more training is set for the future.

“We will be doing some exercises with the Air Force in the future and have a major joint operation with the 93rd CST (in) September, on the island of Kauai,” Johnson said.

Story and  Photos byPfc. Marcus Fichtl 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandJOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Soldiers of the 71st Chemical Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, performed sensitive site exploration during a weeklong re-evaluation of the Active Response Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Platoon, with members from the 93rd Civil Support Team, a Hawaii National Guard unit, acting as observers, at Ford Island, here, July 15.The ARC platoon, the newest addition to the 71st, and first in the Pacific, is a first responder unit that identifies known and unknown spills and CBRN hazards.During the re-evaluation, the 71st’s mission was to go to the site and mitigate any radiological, chemical or biological issue, said Staff Sgt. Travis Johnson, ARC platoon sergeant.The exercise involved three different scenarios to test the ARC platoon’s ability to react to various situations, but was also a stress test on the unit as a whole.“Ultimately, we wanted to see how we stood when we put all our resources to the limit,” Johnson said.The exercise was run under Title 32 conditions, whereby the governor and the state activates the 93rd CST and requests the 71st’s ARC team to provide support identifying hazards.“(This is what) we do: identification of the hazard through piecing together clues from a hazard site and processing the samples through a HAZMAT ID and other tools,” said Capt. LeRhonda Washington, commander, 71st Chemical Co. “Clean up and other tasks are then designated to the state or post.” The Soldiers of the ARC platoon relied on their training to accomplish the mission, and with the help of a CBRN unmanned vehicle, designated safe zones for a decontamination line and entry points to hazard sites. “We had a lot of new troops that weren’t up to speed with procedures, but we overcame it with a lot of good, precise training,” Johnson said.The unit focused on training with Level A decontamination suits, identifying hazardous material, using hazardous detection devices and setting up a decontamination line.“We had some trouble initially with setting up the decontamination line, but with every rehearsal, we greatly improved our time and beat our 15-minute goal, today,” Washington said.As the day wore on, the ARC platoon eventually accomplished its three objectives at a full platoon capacity, and recertified the platoon’s ARC status.With the recertification and the ability of the 71st to be anywhere in the Pacific at a moment’s notice, the 71st reaffirms its presence as a theater-wide security asset. However, more training is set for the future.“We will be doing some exercises with the Air Force in the future and have a major joint operation with the 93rd CST (in) September, on the island of Kauai,” Johnson said.

Category: Exercises, News, Safety

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