By Spc. Frank Cagnina
New York Army National Guard
CAMP HIGASHI-CHITOSE, Japan - U.S. Army chemical specialists shared knowledge with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members from the 7th Chemical Unit in support of Orient Shield 14, here Oct. 28.
Soldiers from the 110th Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort), 555th Engineer Brigade and 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., are in Japan supporting an annual bilateral training exercise co-hosted by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and U.S. Army Japan, Oct. 27 - Nov. 7.
The exercise brings together the 2nd SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division from JBLM and JGSDF members from the 11th Infantry Regiment, 7th Armor Division, Northern Army for combined light infantry, squad-level and urban assault training.
The goal of the exercise is to exchange ideas, tactics, techniques and military experiences, so U.S. Soldiers took time to educate their counterparts on their Mission Oriented Protective Posture or MOPP gear. The system is protective outerwear used by military personnel during a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threat.
"We use this gear when we know were going into a contaminated area," said Spc. Jasen Eid, a chemical specialist with 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd SBCT.
MOPP gear can be worn in several stages depending on the degree of chemical protection needed. Levels are broken down from no gear needed to adding protective gear such as over garments, footwear covers, face masks and hood, as the threat of chemical exposure increases.
"We explained the levels of our MOPP gear, once we reached the 5th stage we explained how to exchange the gear while staying safe and not getting cross-contaminated so that Soldiers can quickly change and get back into the fight," added Eid.
The equipment includes a protective, or "gas," mask designed to filter harmful chemical and biological agents and over garments called JSLIST or Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology. The JSLIST is specially designed to be worn over the Soldiers uniform and is designed to allow maximum airflow for cooling while keeping chemical and biological agents from reaching the skin.
"It was wonderful being able to integrate with the JGSDF and to see them trying on our gear," stated Eid.