STUMP NECK ANNEX, Md. --
Lt. Gen. John Paxton Jr., commanding general for II Marine Expeditionary Force, visited the Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force at Naval Support Facility, Indian Head recently for a brief on the command’s current operations and to get a first-hand look at its capabilities.
Paxton’s visit on April 6 came on the heels of the first overseas deployment by CBIRF to Japan the week prior to provide assistance to Japan’s military dealing with the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
A 140-member Initial Response Force team from CBIRF flew to Japan on April 2 with more than 30 vehicles and equipment, including a mobile laboratory capable of analyzing hazardous or toxic substances.
CBIRF’s primary mission is saving lives. More than 400 Marines and sailors train to forward-deploy and respond to a CBRNE incident in order to assist local, state or federal agencies and designated combatant commanders to conduct consequence management operations.
CBIRF is capable of conducting agent detection and identification, casualty search and rescue operations, personnel decontamination, and emergency medical care and stabilization of victims in a contaminated environment.
Col. Peter Ahern, CBIRF commanding officer, provided Paxton with an operational update on the command, as well as an overview on CBIRF’s mission and capabilities in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive consequence management.
The visit also included a tour of CBIRF’s Downey Responder Training Facility at NSF Indian Head’s Stump Neck Annex.
DRTF was developed by CBIRF to accommodate a broad spectrum of training in rescue and extraction techniques. Paxton’s tour took in every element of CBIRF’s response capabilities, which were demonstrated by Marines and Sailors from one of the command’s Initial Response Forces.
CBIRF is a subordinate command of II MEF, which, when directed, deploys and is employed as a Marine Air Ground Task Force in support of combatant commander requirements for contingency response or major theater war.