KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 773rd Civil Support Team, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, completed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear field training exercises as part of their annual training, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 19.
A mobile training team of subject matter experts from Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, Utah, provided challenging and educational training to soldiers from the 773rd CST and 3rd Special Forces Group on advanced CBRN topics including target exploitation and assessment, sampling, and decontamination procedures.
The Soldiers were tested on their responsiveness to a call from air base officials in which chemicals and laboratory equipment were discovered at Ramstein Air Base South Airfield by base employees.
In the scenario, the 773rd CST's tasks were to identify any CBRN hazards, mitigate known hazards, provide advice on the extent of the contamination, determine impact to the community, provide a media release and facilitate liaison resources to assist with remediation.
The DPG team utilized real-world chemistry and microbiology scenarios to enhance the realism of the exercise led by subject matter experts.
"Working closely with these [chemicals] in a lab gives us the real world knowledge and experience of how the chemicals look, feel, and behave," said James Sorenson, a microbiology subject matter expert with DPG. "We apply this to the training scenarios to help units accomplish their mission."
Soldiers were also evaluated on their ability to evacuate, decontaminate and treat a casualty. They also received hands-on instruction from 3rd Special Forces Group during the scenario.
"We set realistic targets like you would find in the real world," said Seth Lamb, chemistry subject matter expert with DPG. "These soldiers are getting the best training next to the real thing. That's going to have a huge impact on their readiness."
This was a good opportunity to go over our mission essential task list and look at our performance objectives, said Cpt. LaToya Toler, the 773rd CST medical officer-in-charge. We might be called tomorrow for a real world case so we always need to be ready, she added.
After the exercise, DPG conducted an after action review to discuss best practices and lessons learned.
"This was already a tough exercise, but on top of it we threw in a casualty scenario [the Soldiers] probably aren't used to and they still performed extremely well," said Tony Kemp, program manager for DPG.
"Dugway brings great subject matter expert training and they were very engaged partners," said Cpt. Dino De La Hoya, the 773rd CST operations officer. "They helped us hit all our mission essential tasks and this has a big impact on our readiness."
The training site for this exercise was located at Ramstein Air Base South Airfield.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bryan Scott, Ramstein Air Base liaison for the exercise, said he enjoys lending a hand to support the Army in carrying out their CBRN training objectives.
The 773rd CST will work with DPG to develop a memorandum of agreement for a continuous multi-year training readiness program.
773rd CST directly reports to 361st CA BDE, located in Kaiserslautern, Germany. 361st CA BDE is the U.S. Army Reserve's only forward deployed civil affairs unit in Europe providing civil affairs support to U.S. Army Europe.