Army Chemical Corps holds quarterly conference at Fort Bragg
February 19, 2010
FORT BRAGG , N.C. - Chemical Corps Soldiers from units all across the country convened at Fort Bragg Feb. 3, for the quarterly chemical conference where unit leaders provided updates on their training and activities.
Lieutenant Colonel Danny Mills, commander of the 42nd Civil Support Team, described his unit's participation in emergency response. After an incident, whether it is an accidental chemical spill or potential act of terrorism, chemical Soldiers bring their expertise to the incident.
Once they have been called to the scene, the Soldiers work for the incident commander, helping to assess the situation, identify chemical agents, determine the threat level and collect samples of unknown substances.
The investigations include multiple governmental and civilian organizations.
"We work with all our sister agencies: federal, state and local civilian organizations," Mills said. "It's a joint effort and we do what we can to assist each other." Mills also noted the unit's extensive work with the Coast Guard.
"We work with the Coast Guard to transfer people and equipment from one boat to another," Mills said. "It's the most dangerous thing we do, and we have trained so that we are competent and confident."
Lieutenant Colonel Bob Stein, chief of current operations with the 20th Support Command in Aberdeen, Md., said one of the unit's missions is recovering old munitions, many from World War II.
"Before we knew the dangers of putting chemicals into the environment, many things were dumped into the ground and ocean," he said.
"These things get dug up and made into cement and end up in peoples' driveways. As time goes by, old munitions start to work their way out. We come in and safely remove it."
The conference also included an update on the newly formed Fort Bragg "Sky Dragon" chapter of the Chemical Corps Regimental Association and plans for the Green Dragon Ball, slated for June 4.