• Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, push a litter on the conveyer belt to the next station during the mass casualty decontamination exercise, March 19, 2014. The casualties, civilian role players, wore mulage makeup during the exercise to provide a level of difficult for the Soldiers, and they help simulate what the Soldiers might encounter during an actual catastrophe, said U.S. Army North Command division chief James Barkley, from Columbus, Ohio. Mulage makeup is used to create realistic injuries for the purpose of training medical personnel and emergency response teams.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, push a litter on the conveyer belt to the next station during the mass casualty decontamination exercise, March 19, 2014. The casualties, civilian role players...

  • A Soldier with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, transports a civilian role player into a mass casualty decontamination tent on a litter during a field training exercise March 17, 2014. The exercise helps the 44th Chemical Company prepare for any domestic catastrophic CBRN (chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear) event as part of the DCRF mission.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    A Soldier with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, transports a civilian role player into a mass casualty decontamination tent on a litter during a field training exercise March 17, 2014. The exercise helps the...

  • Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, collects the personal belongings of a civilian role player prior to decontamination procedures March 17, 2014, during a field training exercise. U.S. Army North Command oversaw the exercise by severing as the facilitators and observers as part of the Defense CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) Reactionary Force (DCRF) mission.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, collects the personal belongings of a civilian role player prior to decontamination procedures March 17, 2014, during a field training exercise. U.S. Army North...

  • Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, removes the contaminated clothes of a civilian role player during a field exercise March 17, 2014. The unit participated in a mass casualty decontamination exercise validation.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, removes the contaminated clothes of a civilian role player during a field exercise March 17, 2014. The unit participated in a mass casualty decontamination exercise...

  • Sgt. Leticia Balderao, a combat medic with the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, and a Whittier, Calif., native, helps an "ambulatory patient" during a mass decontamination field exercise March 19, 2014, in preparation for the upcoming Defense CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) Reactionary Force mission. An ambulatory status means the patient can walk.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    Sgt. Leticia Balderao, a combat medic with the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, and a Whittier, Calif., native, helps an "ambulatory patient" during a mass decontamination field exercise...

  • A Soldier with the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, assists a civilian role player wearing moulage makeup during a field training exercise March 19, 2014. Moulage is makeup used to create realistic injuries for the purpose of training medical personnel.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    A Soldier with the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, assists a civilian role player wearing moulage makeup during a field training exercise March 19, 2014. Moulage is makeup used to create...

  • Pfc. Megan Lewis (left), a combat medic from Seattle, shows Cpt. Jessica Beauvil, a physician assistant from Mount Vernon, N.Y., both with the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, the symptoms chart of a "patient" to prescribe medicine March 19, 2014, during a field training exercise.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    Pfc. Megan Lewis (left), a combat medic from Seattle, shows Cpt. Jessica Beauvil, a physician assistant from Mount Vernon, N.Y., both with the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, the symptoms...

  • Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, prepare to conduct mass-casualty decontamination exercise March 19, 2014, on Fort Hood, Texas. The unit is currently on the Defense CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) Reactionary Force mission. The reactionary force deploys to any domestic CBRNE catastrophic event.

    Soldiers train for DCRF mission

    Soldiers with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, prepare to conduct mass-casualty decontamination exercise March 19, 2014, on Fort Hood, Texas. The unit is currently on the Defense CBRNE (Chemical, Biological...

FORT HOOD, Texas (March 25, 2014) -- Soldiers with the 566th Area Support Medical Company conducted field training March 17-19 to certify them for their assumption of the Defense CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) Reactionary Force mission.

The Defense CBRNE Reactionary Force, or DCRF, mission consists of 5,500 active and Reserve Soldiers trained to assist civilian first responders in the event of a domestic catastrophic CBRN event. The reactionary force deploys with medical, aviation, communications, logistical, decontamination, and search and rescue units to aid the civilian population affected by the crisis.

"This training is important for my Soldiers because you never know when a catastrophic event may strike the United States, and it's important for my Soldiers to know how to treat the civilian population and save lives," said Kristy Cortner, the first sergeant for the 566th Area Support Medical Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, and a Tallahassee, Fla., native.

During the exercise, personnel from U.S. Army North helped facilitate the training by providing evaluation and feedback to Soldiers conducting the exercise.

"The 566th [Area Support Medical Company] will receive a TPE (training proficiency evaluation)," said James Barkley, the U.S. Army North Command division chief, from Columbus, Ohio. "They have to receive a TPE to assume the DCRF mission on October 1st for the new fiscal year."

Alongside the 566th ASMC was the 44th Chemical Company, which is currently on the DCRF mission. The unit participated in the exercise as a way to stay proficient in the skills necessary to conduct mass-casualty decontamination operations.

"We, as a chemical unit, would work with other units to provide mass-casualty decontamination to the civilian populace affected by the event," said Staff Sgt. Frederick Hillard, a chemical operations specialist from New Orleans, with the 44th Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade. "This type of training helps us get accustomed to working with medical units, military and civilian police, and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) units."

It helps when both the chemical and medical units are working side-by-side because that's how it would be in an actual event, said Barkley. The chemical unit would decontaminate the casualty then move them to the medical station for further assistance.

"Two units working together toward one common goal - mass-casualty decontamination," Barkley said.

"Help us please," shouted the civilian role players during the training exercise. The civilian role players help add a level of realism for the Soldiers conducting the training.

"The role payers are told to act as if a "real-world" explosion just occurred, and they are trying to receive help," Hillard said. "It helps us have a realistic view and a sense of urgency that ordinarily wouldn't exist in a regular training environment with mannequins."

"If the Soldiers don't have real patients to treat, they won't be prepared for an actual occurrence with the civilian population," Cortner added. "It always helps the Soldiers to know that we have to push 29 ambulatory (capable of walking) and 40 non-ambulatory (ot capable of walking) patients an hour through our medical stations."

With role players and other equipment set-up during the field training exercise, the Soldiers appreciate the realism of the training.

"This training is critically important because we are transitioning to a non-combat Army, and the focus will shift to Homeland security," said Cortner. "The Soldiers will need to know how to treat patients in a highly stressful environment."

"We do this training every year to certify, and we rehearse at least once a quarter. So if a catastrophic event occurs, we are prepared," Hillard said.

Page last updated Tue March 25th, 2014 at 00:00