NAVY ANNEX STUMP NECK, Md. --
Teamwork can prove crucial in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive incident. So, Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force is training with similar units from their sister services in order to share knowledge and skill sets needed in such incidents.
In a training evolution held at the Raymond M. Downey Sr. Responder Training Facility at Navy Annex Stump Neck, Md. Dec. 10, Marines and sailors with CBIRF instructed soldiers from the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Receiving instruction on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive consequence management, the soldiers got a unique opportunity to train with the CBIRF Marines and sailors, said Army Col. Roger Cloutier, commander, BCT 1-3.
“The Marines and sailors at CBIRF are experts in how to negotiate confined spaces and how to go into a building that’s full of smoke and rescue a casualty,” explained Cloutier. “They are providing us with instruction and leading us through the practical applications.”
BCT 1-3 is the first active duty Army unit to be given the mission of CBRNE consequence management.
“This is a great opportunity to give back to America,” Cloutier said.
Having deployed to Iraq three times, the soldiers possessed certain skill sets that were applicable in both Iraq and here at home, explained Cloutier.
“It forces our junior leaders to operate levels above where they would normally operate at,” Cloutier said. “In Iraq, you have to use critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills; you have to interact with the local population and local government and restore some sort of normalcy. That skill set is directly applicable to a domestic (CBRNE) incident.”
One solider who completed the three-week CBIRF Basic Operations Course said the training CBIRF Marines and sailors provided imparted invaluable knowledge about what it takes to be an emergency responder.
“For me personally, it opened my eyes up to what it means to be a responder,” said Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lanier, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear specialist, 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment. “For us to do this job, we have to have these skill sets we’re learning here. If we’re called upon by our nation, we’ll have to put these skills in to effect to save American citizens.”
As with any learning environment, a good attitude is one of the many critical aspects of learning.
“They’re great. All of them want to learn, and we’re having a good time with them,” said Sgt. Mark Warner, technical rescue technician, CBIRF. “My area was vehicle extrication. I taught them how to get in to the vehicles and rescue the victim safely, without hurting themselves or the victim,” Warner said.
Should a CBRNE event occur, CBIRF Marines and sailors would work in a joint environment with the Army and other branches of service, further demonstrating teamwork, regardless of the branch or the situation.