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12-21-07, 06:50 AM #1
Combat Assault Battalion Marines conduct chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear
CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan-- Someone calls “Gas! Gas! Gas!” and the Marines scramble to put on protective masks.
Lance Cpl. Andrew Montague shouts “Freeze” after nine seconds. As a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, he looks over the Marines and says, “If you’re not done by now, you could very well be dead.”
The gas alert is only training, but the scenario is one Marines could potentially encounter in the field, and without proper training, a real gas attack can be lethal.
More than 30 Marines with Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, attended monitor, survey and decontamination team training on Camp Schwab Dec. 13. The CBRN specialists with CAB led the training to teach the Marines how to properly respond to CBRN threats.
The CAB Marines learned basic responses to any CBRN attack. They also learned how to use equipment designed for monitoring and surveying a contaminated site. The CBRN team training is a quarterly requirement for 25 percent of corporals and below assigned to CAB.
Sgt. Joshua Smith, the CBRN chief for the battalion, stressed the need for Marines to maintain proficiency in today’s field environment.
“We give these Marines CBRN training because there is still the threat of CBRN attacks in the areas CAB typically operates out of,” said Smith. “Additionally, a CBRN Marine can’t be everywhere at once, so in the event of an attack, CAB Marines will know how to react if they are hit with CBRN weapons and will be able to instruct any Marines they are deployed with who might not have much CBRN knowledge.”
The training started in the class room, where the CAB Marines went over basic CBRN knowledge and procedures. They learned about the proper wear of the Mission Oriented Protective Posture suit, how to conduct ground and aerial surveys of a contaminated location, how to properly mark a site and how to use chemical and radiation detecting gear, such as the chemical agent monitor and the AN/VDR2 radiation detector.
The Marines then put their knowledge to the test in several training scenarios conducted in full MOPP gear. Some of the scenarios had the Marines patrolling an area where they received gas attack alerts and had nine seconds to properly put on their masks. Other training events involved the Marines having to identify the kind of agent contaminating an area and how to properly survey, mark and cordon off the location.
Cpl. James Moody, a light armored vehicle mechanic with the battalion, said the training was informative.
“The training was great because as a mechanic, I usually don’t get to learn much about CBRN,” said Moody. “The capabilities of the equipment surprised me, and the instructors were very knowledgeable and explained everything.”
“Overall, I feel a lot more confident about responding to a CBRN attack.”
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