Baumholder, Germany -- This week teams of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear trained Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command converged on Baumholder Army Airfield, from 03 - 05 May, to increase CBRN threat awareness, mission readiness, unit cohesion, and to find out which team would be named the Dragon Fire 2016 Champions.
Each team consisted of 6 Soldiers with at least one noncommissioned officer, and none of the members of the team could hold a CBRN military occupational specialty. These teams were trained up by a CBRN subject matter expert to ensure that not only was the playing field level, but that all individuals participating in the event were trained to be able to continue fighting and surviving in the event of an attack where CBRN weapons were used.
"The Soldiers were given around 2 weeks to prepare for the event, with their unit's CBRN Soldier." Said 2nd Lt. Danilo Del Pino Jr., the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment's CBRN OIC. "Also on day one of the event the teams ran through all the stations to get a full understanding of each station."
The competition raged for three days, with teams competing in a myriad of different CBRN events. The events covered a wide variety of CBRN related basic soldier skills including a CBRN written proficiency test, detecting chemical agents using different types of equipment, reacting to a CBRN attack, and even a weapons assembly relay wearing CBRN protective gear at mission oriented protective posture 4.
"To simulate real life scenarios we had the teams decontaminate a Patriot launcher in MOPP 4," said 2nd Lt. Pino "…once you get into different MOPP levels the tasks aren't so easy."
At the end of the day only one team could claim the coveted CBRN Dragon Fire Trophy, and that team was from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery 5-7 ADA. While they were the winners of the day, the true winner is really the 10th AAMDC who now has CBRN subject matter experts who will return to their batteries and share their new knowledge and experience, dramatically improving mission readiness and CBRN threat awareness.
"In my opinion these competitions are extremely vital for all soldiers to take part in." stated Spc. Nicholas Incelli, a 14T Patriot Launching Station Enhance Operator who participated in the event, "Not only do you learn new things, earn recognition, or have a great time, but it's a great change of pace and a way to get outside of your comfort zone."