2-25th Avn. Regt. maintains CBRN mission readiness

| June 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Photo by 2nd Lt. James Dyer, 2nd Battalion 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade  Soldiers from 25th CAB and 2nd SBCT, 25th ID fit their  protective masks before entering the gas chamber on Schofield Barracks, June 10.

Photo by 2nd Lt. James Dyer, 2nd Battalion 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade
Soldiers from 25th CAB and 2nd SBCT, 25th ID fit their protective masks before entering the gas chamber on Schofield Barracks, June 10.

2nd Lt. Alycia Craven
2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment
25th Combat Avn. Brigade
25th Infantry Division

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Training in a gas chamber provides Soldiers the opportunity to get outside of their comfort zones and emphasize hands-on skill.

“The purpose of this mask confidence exercise is to refamiliarize Soldiers with the proper wear and preventive maintenance checks and services of their protective masks,” explained 2nd Lt. James Dyer, chemical officer, 2nd Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, as Soldiers from the battalion recently conducted chemical mask at the gas chamber.

“They have to be confident in both the equipment function of their protective masks as well as their ability to break and reseal their masks in a contaminated environment,” said Dyer.

At the training, Soldiers learned four collective tasks:

•How to react to a chemical or biological attack;

•How to conduct a chemical survey;

•How to perform a thorough decontamination, and;

•How to conduct an operational decontamination.

Photo by Sgt. Alex Echavarria, 2nd Battalion 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade  Spc. Antwann Cullars from 2nd Battalion, 25th CAB, 25th ID, flaps his arms after exiting the gas chamber on Schofield Barracks, June 10.

Photo by Sgt. Alex Echavarria, 2-25th Avn. Regt., 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Spc. Antwann Cullars from 2nd Battalion, 25th CAB, 25th ID, flaps his arms after exiting the gas chamber.

“Like a lot of training in the Army, you have to put a lot of faith in the equipment you are given,” said Sgt. Alex Echavarria, 2-25th chemical noncommissioned officer. “Breathing air normally after clearing your mask properly is definitely a relief, but also a clear indication on how well you executed what was taught. There were a few Soldiers who had to experience that feeling of choking before they were able to fully recognize what steps they needed to fix. And that’s exactly what this method of training forces Soldiers to do.”

The main hurdle to overcome is the unfamiliarity with the equipment.

“Everyone wants to get it right the first time. That said, everyone pays attention, and we get through the exercise with little error,” Dyer said.

Gas chamber training is a great tool to teach action under stress and ensure Soldiers are well rounded enough to handle any situation.

“The concept of this training is a lot like the punch training you receive in the Combatives course. We do it because we don’t want the first time a Soldier to get hit or punched to be in a live mission environment,” said Echavarria. “This training just gives our Soldiers the time enough to breathe and think through the process to correct themselves all on their own.”

The 2-25th Avn. troops are part of the continuous reaction force on Oahu. Being able to stay on top of training is crucial to having the ability to deploy with little notice.

“It’s a skill that has to be revisited regularly. It is more than just checking the box,” Echavarria said. “As the chemical NCO, if something happens, I need to know we did everything we could to make sure the Soldiers are trained to be effective and safe.”

The regiment successfully trained several dozen of its own warriors, as well as a company from its sister brigade, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

(Note: Craven is the unit public affairs representative for 2-25th.)

Photo by 2nd Lt. James Dyer, 2nd Battalion 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade  Sgt. Alex Echavarria instructs soldiers from 25th CAB and 2nd SBCT, 25th ID during the live-chamber exercise on Schofield Barracks, June 10.

Photo by 2nd Lt. James Dyer, 2nd Battalion 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade
Sgt. Alex Echavarria instructs soldiers from 25th CAB and 2nd SBCT, 25th ID during the live-chamber exercise on Schofield Barracks, June 10.

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