Bronco Soldiers prepare for chemical threats during "Dragon Week"
October 20, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii- Chemical Corps soldier throughout 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were able to refresh their knowledge of chemical hazards and learn new information during the week of Sept 27 as part of Dragon Week here on post.
The CBRN training was designed to refresh Soldiers to refresh chemical Soldiers on their former training, introduce them to new HAZMAT equipment, HAZMAT awareness and discuss the current chemical threats in-theater, specifically Afghanistan, where the Bronco brigade will deploy next year.
"The Reconnaissance platoon (of the 71st Chemical Company) trained 38 CBRN Soldiers from the brigade on the equipment and tactical training procedures," said Cpt. Ericka Meir, company commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Co. Brigade Special Troops Battalion. "What we wanted was to familiarize ourselves on CBRN tasks and equipment, but also incorporate what is taking place in theater."
Each training day started with classes during the morning and hands on training in the afternoon.
"Soldiers were able to work through some simulation exercises each day and use equipment they may never have trained on before," said Cpt. Matthew J. Urban, a chemical corps Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Rgt., 3 BCT, 25th ID. "The Soldiers were able to train on the M17 Decontamination System, which is a large high-powered pump driven washing device."
Other training included how to decontaminate a casualty, decontaminate one's self, survey a radiological contaminated site and mark a chemically contaminated site. The training also incorporated more basic Soldier skills to include how to call in a nine-line medical evacuation on a chemically contaminated casualty and how to transport a chemically contaminated casualty to a pick up site.
The 71st Chemical Company were present for the week as graders for hands on training and also provided some of the equipment Bronco Soldiers trained on.
Dragon Week was culminated on Friday, Oct. 1, as teams from most of the battalions competed in a series of physically intensive battle-focused lanes.
"It was basically like a stress shoot for the chemical corps," said Urban.
The competition began with a nine-mile ruck march and included six lanes which participants had to complete for time and accuracy.
Lanes included a series of basic chemical tests, donning a protective mask and decontaminating one's self, decontaminating a casualty, assembling and disassembling various weapons systems, surveying and marking chemical and radiological sites and a written test.
Battalions who competed were 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment and 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion.
Each Battalion was represented by a two-man team of chemical corps Soldiers.
3rd BSTB were the overall winners of the completion with 2-35 Inf. Regt. coming in second.
"It was a challenging competition and the Soldiers really put their all into it," said Urban. "It provided our chemical corps Soldiers a chance to see what their combat potentials may be and how they would react in those extreme conditions."
Chemical Corps Soldiers were positive about the training and hope to be able to take on more training in the future.
"The feedback we received from the chemical Soldiers was very positive," said Meir. "Their enthusiasm showed during the training and they hope they will be given more opportunities like this in the future."