Chemical Company Reactivates after 46 Years
October 30, 2012
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.