CAMP HOVEY, South Korea - For some Americans, it might be hard to imagine that the Republic of Korea could be at risk of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack, but it is one of the threats that U.S. Soldiers serving here are preparing for.
"Based on our proximity to the threat, we don't know how much time we have to prepare and react, hence the 2nd Infantry Division's motto, 'Fight Tonight,'" said Lt. Col. Patrick Douglas, commander, 2nd Battalion "Stallions," 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "This is also why we take our 'pro-masks' [M50 Field Protective Joint Service General Purpose Mask] with us to our barracks rooms and are constantly training to be able to take on the CBRN threat."
With the transfer of authority complete Feb. 26, CBRN Soldiers work to ensure that the rest of the Stallion battalion is properly equipped and trained to be able to "Fight Tonight."
"To me, the threat of an attack here in South Korea would be a lot easier to see coming, but it's also a less stable and uncertain situation," said Staff Sgt. Jack Lawrence III, CBRN platoon sergeant, 2-8 Cavalry.
Lawrence is looking forward to preparing his platoon for this threat with thorough training during this rotation, including vehicle and buddy decontamination from the 23rd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division ROK / U.S. Combined Division.
"Next month we'll have some training with the 23rd Chemical Battalion," said Lawrence. "They'll work with one of our infantry platoons to train them on how to do buddy decontamination."
Lawrence is not the only one looking forward to this training. Several of his Soldiers have not experienced CBRN training in an environment as inclusive as in Korea and are ready for the additional challenge.
"I'm looking forward to more realistic and integrated training," said Spc. Alexander Reinhart, CBRN specialist, 2-8 Cavalry. "I really want to train on the Stryker Armored Combat Vehicles, because they've got nuclear, biological and chemical decontamination and testing equipment built into them."
With mission preparedness at the forefront, Douglas has full faith in Lawrence and his CBRN Soldiers to execute the mission.
"In the battalion, Lawrence is expected to be the subject matter expert on CBRN, and that's the biggest benefit he brings to the guys," said Douglas. "If I had to sum him up in one word, it'd be 'confidence.' Lawrence and his Soldiers give me confidence in our training and preparation to face any threat."