By Ryan DonaldOctober 17, 2015
MIDDLE RIVER, Md. - Soldiers and civilians from 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) celebrated the command's 11th anniversary here Oct. 15.
The command held the 20th CBRNE Command Ball in recognition of 11 years of service to the nation since its activation.
This year's theme was steel, the traditional eleventh anniversary gift.
"Just as iron is the raw material for making steel, Soldiers are the raw material for making a CBRNE professional," said Brig. Gen. William E. King IV. "The hammer and anvil, tools of the blacksmith, give steel its shape, training refines and aligns them into a cohesive unit, that is the letter T.
King added E is for Education giving Soldiers knowledge and the last E is for excellence in execution.
"Finally, through the expert hand of the blacksmith, the steel is refined, tested, and finally shaped into an effective weapon, Leadership is that experience and responsibility to build our units to meet our country's need -- the letter L." said King.
The night was designed to encourage and build esprit-de-corps amongst the Soldiers, Civilians, Family members, and friends of the command and to carry forward the traditions and legacy of our Army and remember those that served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The guest speaker of the night was Lt. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II, US Army Forces Command deputy commanding general. He spoke about how proud the Soldiers and civilians of 20th CBRNE Command should be of the job they have done over their last eleven years.
"The Soldiers in this room are enablers, be proud of what you do because you enable the Army and Joint Force to move safely on the battlefield, you enable people in places like Liberia to be safe from a deadly disease," said Donahue. "You enable civil authorities here in the United States to mitigate CBRNE threats we find here in our own homeland. And you enable our allies and partners to build capacity to protect their own armies and people."
Activated as a part of U.S. Army Forces Command Oct. 16, 2004, the 20th CBRNE Command is the U.S. military's only formation that combats CBRNE hazards around the globe. Originally called the 20th Support Command (CBRNE), it was renamed the 20th CBRNE Command in October 2013 to more accurately reflect its mission.
Based on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 20th CBRNE Command is home to 85 percent of the Active Army's CBRNE capabilities, with two EOD Groups, one CBRN Brigade and several special purpose capabilities, including deployable laboratories, Nuclear Disablement Teams and CBRNE Coordination Elements. To counter Weapons of Mass Destruction, eliminate CBRNE threats and defeat improvised explosive devices, Soldiers and civilians from 20th CBRNE train and operate around the world with joint, interagency and allied partners.