By Pfc. Paige Pendleton, 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsMay 1, 2013
Many Soldiers associate CBRN training with a mandatory trip through the gas chamber during Basic Combat Training, but in actuality Soldiers must remain trained to be prepared for actual threats.
Anchorage, Ala. native, Staff Sgt. Sandra Shane-Trovato, a CBRN specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st "Centurion" Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Ironhorse Brigade, conducted the brief.
Shane-Trovato explained that the Chemical Corps is at the forefront of more activity considering recent attacks, and these classes are given on a regular basis to keep Soldiers aware that the threat of a CBRN attack is real.
"It's a perishable skill," Shane-Trovato said. "Just like shooting your weapon."
Shane-Trovato stressed the importance of Soldiers being trained properly for CBRN threats. She said if Soldiers are in an environment requiring just a medium level of protection and they can't put a protective mask together correctly, they would not be able to protect themselves and be at the risk of becoming ill or worse.
The classroom portion of the training focused on recent CBRN attacks in the news, the types and levels of threats, protective gear, and decontamination techniques.
After a short lecture and presentation, Soldiers conducted hands-on instruction on how to properly assemble and wear their protective masks.
Shane-Trovato also had demonstrators don CBRN protective gear and conducted gas drills in which the Soldiers had nine seconds to don, clear, and seal their protective masks.
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands native, Spc. Richard Gunter, a geospatial engineer assigned to Hammer Troop, said the class made him feel more prepared for a CBRN threat.
"I learned more in depth about the different types of chemical and biological threats," Gunter said.
With the constant flow of new Soldiers, Gunter said he thinks this training should be conducted more often to keep everyone up to speed.