Chemical troops prep for CBRN site survey, sampling mission in Kuwait

| October 3, 2014 | 0 Comments
The 71st Chemical Co. conducts decontamination procedures while wearing protective posture gear during a September field training exercise. The upcoming mission to Kuwait will be the first deployment, together, of the entire company.

The 71st Chemical Co. conducts decontamination procedures while wearing protective posture gear during a September field training exercise. The upcoming mission to Kuwait will be the first deployment, together, of the entire company.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs
8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA, Waimanalo — When it comes to handling chemical and biological compounds, there’s zero room for error, making realistic training exercises — like the one conducted, here, in September by 71st Chemical Company troops — a critical part of deployment preparation.

After two full weeks of classroom and hands-on instruction, the 8th Military Police Brigade’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) company put its knowledge and skills to the test during a weeklong culminating field training exercise.

The unit’s upcoming mission in Kuwait will be the first time the entire company has deployed together, and while many of its Soldiers have no combat experience, the company commander, Capt. Craig Brown, said their performance during the exercise was exceptional and built up the company’s confidence.

In addition to the routine dismounted reconnaissance mission, in which the unit is already well-rehearsed, the exercise certified the troops in two highly technical skills they’ll be using downrange: site surveying and sampling procedures.

Robert Nevels, an expert in CBRN equipment and joint project manager for nuclear, biological and chemical contamination avoidance, coordinated those areas of the training.

Soldiers from 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, conduct a site survey while in protective posture gear during a September field training exercise. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs.)

Soldiers from 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, conduct a site survey while in protective posture gear during a September field training exercise.

Nevels instructed the Soldiers on the $1 million worth of equipment they will use during deployment, and Dr. Carrie A. Poore, biologist, and Dr. Shawn Davies, chemist, both with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, certified them on site surveying and sampling techniques.

Poore said that when the troops encounter homemade laboratories, they must be able to recognize the production processes of the different chemical and biological compounds they find.

“It’s crucial to know how to safely and correctly take samples, which would later be used in a court of law,” said Poore.

Chemical warriors document samples they have taken while wearing protective posture gear during a weeklong training exercise.

Chemical warriors document samples they have taken while wearing protective posture gear during a weeklong training exercise.

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