Hazard response company hones skills
The 51st Hazard Response Company, 83rd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, conducted thorough decontamination training on personnel, vehicles and equipment, Sept. 30 through Oct. 5 on Fort Stewart for an upcoming rotation to the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
The U.S Army’s National Training Center trains rotational units, joint, interagency and multinational partners in simulated, but realistic, environments so they can succeed on real battlefields. The company has been ramping up preparations to secure a ready fighting force for the upcoming rotation by doing a step-by-step training of the decontamination of personnel, vehicles and aircraft.
“We are not only there to join the fight,” said Spc. Michael Kinder, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist assigned to 51st Hazard Response Company. “We are also there to keep supporting units in the fight.”
At any point a unit’s vehicles or aircraft have been contaminated by any chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear substances, the company is responsible for decontaminating that equipment before they can continue their mission.
During this process, Soldiers are required to remove all contamination from vehicles and aircraft, apply a solution to them, monitor, and then inspect them again for any remaining contamination. Once the equipment is cleared, it is ready to be sent back to the unit for continued use.
Soldiers who conduct decontamination procedures wear protective gear to prevent themselves from any chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear contamination. The gear covers the Soldiers from head to toe in Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear. Because of their protective gear requirements, Soldiers have to maintain a high level of hydration.
Kinder said the training is also preparing them to face any mission challenges that will be presented to them at NTC.
“We don’t know where we’ll be called upon to do decontamination,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jesus Huerta, a CBRN officer assigned to the company’s crisis response team. “[The training] just better prepares the Soldiers and noncomissioned officers in that organization to understand what those requirements are.”
The 83rd Chemical Battalion is providing all the necessary resources and training required for the company to guarantee success.
Since the company is expected to go through their rotation at NTC early next year, they continue to build unit readiness and cohesion to provide support to any element at NTC.