By Maj. Andrew Kick, Nuclear Disablement Team 3September 22, 2015
FORT IRWIN, California (Sept. 22, 2015) -- Soldiers from 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) gather around an enemy cave they just exploited, within the cave lurked the entire gambit of wicked problems this team was designed to exploit and mitigate. This particular cave was being used to prepare a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) against the fictional population of Atropia. CBRNE Soldiers are participating in National Training Center Rotation 15-10 at Fort Irwin, California, with 1st Striker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Carson, Colorado.
This mission represents a historical first in Task Force CBRNE rotations at the National Training Center, involving a complex Task Force CBRNE assets forward assaulting a target together.
According to the Task Force Commander Lt. Col. Brian Winningham, "This is the first successful employment of this effort and represents one way to tackle this unique CBRNE problem set for the BCT Commander and the Atropia people." The objective led to real time intelligence back to the BCT Commander to prepare for a follow on target.
During the training mission, following a complex assault, the CBRNE team then exploited the cave by first eliminating any hazards in the cave and then by removing the RDD and all other important documents and chemicals for exploitation. The mission was successful eliminating the RDD and providing critical intelligence to lead the Brigade to a Chemical and Biological weapons facility.
In addition to the CBRNE Company Team, the CBRNE Task Force is composed of 242nd EOD Battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 62nd EOD Company, 172nd Chemical Company, and elements of 20th CBRNE Command's CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity (CARA).
Sgt. 1st Class Darius Baca, the CBRNE Sample Team Leader, stated, "This training enabled my team to increase its readiness for the many hazards we can face in exploiting a target, like trip wires and Improvised Explosive Devices. Additionally, the intelligence we gathered led the brigade to future CBRNE targets. It is satisfying to know our work helped the brigade."