U.S., British troops participate in Shamal Storm

By Walter T. Ham IV, 20th CBRNE Command Public AffairsApril 21, 2015

U.S., British troops participate in Shamal Storm
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U.S., British troops participate in Shamal Storm
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U.S., British troops participate in Shamal Storm
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LONDON -- American Soldiers from the 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) trained with British Army troops in the United Kingdom and Jordan earlier this month.

A platoon of U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) troops from the Fort Drum, New York-based 760th EOD Company participated in Exercise Shamal Storm.

The 760th EOD Company is part of 63rd EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group, 20th CBRNE Command, the U.S. military's only formation that combats global CBRNE threats. Headquartered of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 20th CBRNE Soldiers and civilians serve on 19 posts in 16 states and routinely deploy around the globe.

The bilateral exercise, named Shamal Storm for the wind storms that occur in the Jordanian desert, has been held for many years.

The 760th EOD Company team deployed from Fort Drum to London, England, where they merged up with troops from the 17th Engineer Squadron, 101st Engineer Regiment from the British Army.

While in the London, the U.S. Soldiers visited the United Kingdom Schools for Ordnance Disposal and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat and conducted familiarization training and cultural visits.

The teams then moved to Jordan for the field training portion of the exercise that culminated with five days in the desert.

Led by 1st Lt. Colvirak A. Kern, an Afghanistan War veteran from Modesto, California, the U.S. Army EOD platoon was a seasoned group of Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians with nearly two decades of combined combat experience from Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sgt. 1st Class Stephen P. Cunningham, the platoon sergeant, said the U.S. Army EOD technicians shared route clearance lessons learned with their counterparts from the British Army's 20th Field Squadron.

Cunningham said his platoon worked seamlessly with the British Army during the exercise.

A native of Lake Elsinore, California, Cunningham said the training was realistic and challenging.

"Shamal Storm was as realistic as U.S. National Training Center rotations," said Cunningham, a combat veteran who has deployed to Bosnia once, Afghanistan twice and Iraq three times.

Brig. Gen. JB Burton, the 20th CBRNE Command's commanding general, said Shamal Storm demonstrated the ability of his command to integrate with its allies and deliver its life-saving capabilities to any battlefield.

"Our Soldiers are ready to deploy at a moment's notice to serve with our allies on the frontlines of freedom, wherever those lines are drawn," said Burton. "This exercise demonstrated our enduring partnership with our British allies."

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