By Walter T. Ham IV, 20th CBRNE Command Public AffairsJune 2, 2015
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland -- Department of the Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) were recognized by the Baltimore Federal Executive Board during its Annual Excellence in Federal Career Awards Ceremony.
Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command's CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, also known as CARA, received silver awards for supporting aerostat operations on Aberdeen Proving Ground and CBRNE training on Fort Irwin, California.
Ten CARA Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Technicians cleared the launch site for the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS), the aerostat that defends the mid-Atlantic region from airborne threats.
Established in 1917, Aberdeen Proving Ground has a long history of testing weapons systems and munitions and the post's Edgewood Area is the primary chemical warfare research center in the United States.
The Installation Safety Office requires unexploded ordnance clearance operations prior to any drilling, digging, trenching or earth disturbance on the post.
From January to December 2014, CARA UXO technicians from Remediation Response Section-East cleared more than 44 acres of explosive and chemical hazards around the aerostat mooring site.
William C. Bodenhamer, David J. Budzinski, Christopher L. Crecelius, Wayne A. Danjou, Thomas C. Kutscher, Shannon J. Platt, Adam K. Pulliam, Michael J. Rowan, David H. West and Ricky G. Whitten received the silver award for clearing the aerostat site.
Another Army civilian from CARA, Chemist Irvine Swahn, received the silver award for his role in constructing a simulated clandestine chemical weapons laboratory and creating training scenarios at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California.
In 2014, the 20th CBRNE Command began integrating with ground maneuver forces during decisive action rotations at Fort Irwin, California, and Fort Polk, Louisiana. To make the training more realistic and challenging, CARA constructed CBRNE sites at Fort Irwin's National Training Center.
Based in Maryland's science, technology and security corridor on Aberdeen Proving Ground, the activity is part of 20th CBRNE Command, the Defense Department's only multifunctional formation that combats CBRNE threats.
Made up entirely of Army civilians, CARA analyzes and remediates chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats around the world.
The activity operates mobile theater laboratories, provides CBRNE training support, conducts Recovered Chemical Warfare Material remediation operations and provides technical escort aviation support of surety material.
The CARA director expressed his appreciation for the recognition his civilians received from the Baltimore Federal Executive Board.
"It always great to take the time and effort to recognize the dedicated civilians of CARA especially in such a prestigious forum," said CARA Director Christopher K. Chesney, a retired U.S. Army officer from Chicago.
"Day in and day out, they epitomize the values embedded in the Army Civilian Corps' Creed while executing CBRNE related operations, anytime and anywhere," said Chesney.