• Lt. Col. Molly Young, commander of the 453rd Chemical Battalion, unfurls the colors of the 334th Chemical Company at its activation ceremony, Oct. 27, 2012. The 334th Chemical Company is a U.S. Army Reserve unit based in Marysville, Wash.

    Unfurl

    Lt. Col. Molly Young, commander of the 453rd Chemical Battalion, unfurls the colors of the 334th Chemical Company at its activation ceremony, Oct. 27, 2012. The 334th Chemical Company is a U.S. Army Reserve unit based in Marysville, Wash.

  • Capt. Allen Toepfer, commander of the 334th Chemical Company, a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Marysville, Wash., hand his unit's guidon to Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Lang, the company's acting first sergeant, during the unit's activation ceremony, Oct. 27, 2012.

    Guidon

    Capt. Allen Toepfer, commander of the 334th Chemical Company, a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Marysville, Wash., hand his unit's guidon to Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Lang, the company's acting first sergeant, during the unit's activation ceremony, Oct. 27...

  • Capt. Allen Toepfer, commander of the 334th Chemical Company, a U.S. Army Reserve unit in Marysville, Wash., speaks at his unit's activation ceremony, Oct. 27, 2012. The unit was reactivated after nearly 47 years.

    Speaking

    Capt. Allen Toepfer, commander of the 334th Chemical Company, a U.S. Army Reserve unit in Marysville, Wash., speaks at his unit's activation ceremony, Oct. 27, 2012. The unit was reactivated after nearly 47 years.

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- History repeated itself here Oct. 27 as the 334th Chemical Company was reactivated in the Army Reserve, almost 47 years since the company last saw service.

The company is a subordinate unit to the 453rd Chemical Battalion and 505th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, underneath the 335th Theater Signal Command.

Saturday's activation ceremony also doubled as a company change of command.

"Anytime a unit reactivates, it's a privilege to be the first commander," said Capt. Allen Toepfer, the 334th's new company commander. "I'm thrilled, humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity.

"I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead," Toepfer added.

The 334th is a unique type of chemical unit, equipped with Biological Identification and Detection Systems, or BIDS. The system, normally mounted on a vehicle, can detect, collect, and sample chemical and biological agents from the air.

BIDS companies have more than just a tactical use overseas, said 1st Lt. Paulo Quijano, the 334th's operations officer.

"We can provide a response for large metropolitan areas," Quijano said. "We can work with state, federal, and local officials, and provide support to organizations, such as hospitals."

The 334th, with an authorized strength of 156 soldiers, is stationed at the Marysville Armed Forces Reserve Center, a new facility one hour north of Seattle.

Page last updated Tue October 30th, 2012 at 00:00