20th CBRNE troops train with NATO Response Force

By Walter T. Ham IV, 20th CBRNE Command Public AffairsSeptember 29, 2014

20th CBRNE troops train with NATO Response Force
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

BAUMHOLDER TRAINING AREA, Germany (Sept. 26, 2014) -- The 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) is training with units from the NATO Response Force, during Exercise Golden Mask.

Soldiers from CBRNE Response Team 3, 46th Chemical Company, 22nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, 20th CBRNE Command, are training with the German Army and British Royal Air Force troops during the multinational exercise.

The only formation of its kind in U.S. Army, the 20th CBRNE Command trains and operates with joint, interagency and allied partners around the world to counter weapons of mass destruction, eliminate CBRNE threats and defeat IEDs.

"Golden Mask is a NATO exercise that brings together multiple partner nations," said Lt. Col. Jay Land, the 20th CBRNE G-3 projects officer, who is in Germany for the exercise.

Land said 20th CBRNE Command troops have been in country since early this week, practicing decontamination and site sampling procedures with their German and British allies.

Land said Exercise Golden Mask enables the NATO Response Force to train against a notional adversary that invades a NATO nation.

"The NATO Response Force gathers to mitigate the CBRNE hazards and defeat the notional aggressor," said Land, a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

According to 20th CBRNE Command Program Advisor Ray Van Pelt, Exercise Golden Mask is a certification for multinational elements of the NATO Response Force.

Van Pelt said Germany is the lead NATO Response Force nation for 2015, and the German CBRN Defense Command requested that the 20th CBRNE Command participate in the exercise.

"This exercise provides an excellent opportunity for our Soldiers to train with our NATO CBRNE partners, and gain insights into best practices, tactics and alternate technologies," said Van Pelt, a retired U.S. Army Chemical Corps officer from New York City.

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