FORT IRWIN, Calif. ( June 23, 2014) -- During Exercise Atropian Phoenix, specialized U.S. Army units are working to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of circulation.
American Soldiers from the 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives), and the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, are training here this week to ensure the U.S. Army remains ready to conduct decisive action operations across the full hazard CBRNE spectrum.
The exercise integrates 20th CBRNE Command Soldiers with ground combat units from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team "Lancers," from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Col. Kyle Nordmeyer, 20th CBRNE deputy commander, said Atropian Phoenix enables the units involved to tackle a wide variety of conventional, irregular and hybrid enemy threats and to locate, identify and eliminate enemy threat systems and capabilities to include explosive and unconventional improvised explosive devices and Weapons of Mass Destruction, known as WMDs.
The exercise is taking place at three locations across the nation: the 20th CBRNE Command Operational Command Post on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; at the 48th Chemical Brigade Headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas; and at the National Training Center here.
According to 20th CBRNE Command Chief of Staff Col. Richard A. Schueneman, the exercise gives the U.S. Department of Defense's only dedicated CBRNE command the opportunity to ensure it has the right capabilities in the right places.
"We are evaluating the capabilities of a CBRNE Battalion Task Force to determine if we have the right personnel, equipment, and TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) to support a land force commander's CBRNE hazards mission requirements which include countering WMD, [improvised explosive device] and conventional threats during this rotation," said Schueneman.
As the U.S. Army's sole formation tasked with combating Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive threats, the 20th CBRNE Command not only trains to support American military operations around the globe, but also works with U.S. government agencies to defend the homeland against CBRNE threats.