22nd CBRN Bn. trains in tactical environment
By Sgt.1st Class Shelia Cooper, 1st AD Sust. Bde. Public Affairs:
(El Paso, Texas, Mar. 9, 2017) Soldiers from the 22nd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Battalion participated in a field training exercise here Feb. 23 through March 2.
More than 200 Soldiers from the 46th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Company (Technical Escort), 44th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Company (Hazardous Response) and the battalion headquarters trained on tactics and techniques while in a tactical environment.
“We incorporated the 44th CBRN Company (Hazardous Response) and the 46th CBRNE Company (Technical Escort) together in one large exercise to access, exploit and eliminate chemical, biological and radiological threats that have been identified on this training village,” said Lt. Col. Tim Druell, battalion commander, 22nd CBRN Bn.
This battalion-level field training exercise, also known as Objective Nobel, was a seven-day exercise that validated the staffs’ and Soldiers’ tactical and technical proficiencies while solidifying staff products and function before the battalion’s next field exercise this spring.
Druell said the training exercise was a great opportunity to bring squads and platoons together.
The 22nd CBRN Bn. has been stationed here less than a year and must complete several training exercises to ensure they are ready to conduct CBRN operations. The 22nd CBRNs job is to interdict, eliminate and counter any CBRN threats in defense of our nation or abroad.
“This exercise prepared us to say we are able to deploy if and when called upon to do so,” Druell said.
Druell said that during the exercise the companies participated in squad and platoon-level situational training exercises, which lead up to the battalion responding to one large scenario-based potential chemical, biological or radiological threat that Soldiers had identified through intelligence assets.
“We are getting the opportunity to exercise the CBRNE task force concept,” said Capt. Roxanne Wegman, assistant operations officer, 22nd CBRN Bn. “We have company teams that are doing simultaneous exploitation and simulated counter weapons of mass destruction on complex weapons of mass destruction targets.”
During the exercise, Soldiers from the battalion came together to enhance knowledge and to work together on various CBRN objectives.
“So one of the objectives was not to deny the enemy use of weapons of mass destruction, but to find out where they are producing it, find their caches and to eliminate them by taking all of the WMD material off these objectives and dispose of them properly,” Wegman said.
Soldiers at the company level received great training and a shared knowledge of working together as a team during this exercise.
“I loved this exercise,” said Spc. Brooklyn Brennan, a Stryker driver assigned to the 44th CBRN (Hazardous Response). “I have learned a lot more about the Stryker and our capabilities and our platoon capabilities in general. We have capabilities with the Stryker to detect chemicals. We also have the .50 caliber machine gun on top, which is used tactically.”
Brennan said her main role during the exercise was to go into hot zones to detect chemicals, which allowed other platoons to come in and handle the rest. Once the other platoons were on the ground, her team pulled surveillance.
With squads and platoons integrated and their interoperability understood and synchronized, these Soldiers had a shared understanding of how each squad and platoon worked and how it could be used to enable others.
With this exercise behind them, the 22nd CBRN Bn. can focus on their next exercise, an Army-wide exercise known as Dragon Fire, which will take place this spring at Yakima Training center, Yakima, Washington.
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