DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - The 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command conducted a combined decontamination exercise with the Republic of Korea 2nd Operational Command as a part of the Reception, Staging, and Onward Movement Field Exercise at Camp Carroll, Nov. 17.
Multiple units participated in the decontamination exercise with US Soldiers from the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, the 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, the 35th Air Defense Artillery, and personnel from the United States Army Garrison-Daegu Fire Department. Additionally, ROK Soldiers from the 19th Chemical Battalion and the 50th Homeland Reserve Division of the 2nd Operational Command participated.
The decontamination exercise was incorporated into the RSO FTX to simulate a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear attack. The exercise trained Soldiers on the proper wear and use of equipment.
Capt. Veronica Neeley CBRNE officer, led the decontamination exercise.
"There were a couple difficulties for an exercise of this magnitude. One of challenges was simply finding a date that worked for all parties involved in the exercise because of just how many units worked together and all the moving pieces that were a part of this," said Neeley.
The exercise consisted of several components for Soldiers to be prepared for a CBRNE attack. One portion of the exercise simulated a CBRNE incident at the fire department training center that resulted in two casualties. Soldiers were required to respond to the incident according to pre-established protocol.
Another part of the training allowed Soldiers to experience the CS gas chamber. At the chamber, Soldiers were exposed to CS gas while dawning on their protective gas masks. CS gas causes a burning/itching sensation on wet or mucus filled places on the body (think: skin, eyes, mouth, nose, etc.). CS gas is a safe, realistic approach to training Soldiers proper use and significance of decontamination equipment.
Following the gas chamber, Soldiers headed over to the main decontamination site, which was biggest focus of the exercise. At the decontamination site, ROK and US Soldiers and military vehicles underwent decontamination through a full decontamination line.
The line was operated jointly by ROK and US Soldiers working together to decontaminate vehicles and personnel. Vehicles were driven through five stages: the initial wash phase, the outer decontamination phase, the reaction and waiting phase, the re-wash phase, and the inspection phase.
Soldiers went through four stages: the personal equipment and protection hood decontamination phase, the clothes and mask removal phase, the shower, inspection, and clothes supply phase, and the medication and equipment supply phase.
Sgt. Bae Jun Kim, 563rd Medical Logistics Company, 65th Medical Brigade, was a KATUSA Soldier who participated in the training exercise.
"I was really surprised at the scale of the exercise. I thought it was going to be a small training exercise with just my unit. It was great to see ROK and US Soldiers working together for this exercise to prepare for a biological or chemical situation. Additionally, I learned a lot about the decontamination process after going through the full decontamination line and experiencing it firsthand," said Kim.
"The [Decontamination] exercise was a great opportunity for not only the US Army and the ROK Army to practice CBRNE training together, but also for the different [US Army] units across Area IV. It trained our Soldiers to respond to CBRNE incidents and to execute decontamination procedures," said Neeley.