By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Bart Herndon, 20th CBRNE Command ChaplainMay 30, 2018
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Unit ministry teams from across the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command footprint gathered at Aberdeen Proving Ground over five days in late November to take part in a Field Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties (FMCBC) Course conducted by personnel from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD).
The FMCBC Course provides familiarization with the principles, management, and treatment of acute chemical/biological warfare injuries in an operational environment. The UMTs practiced principles of personal protection, agent detection, triage, emergency treatment and decontamination of chemical casualties.
Thirteen Chaplains and Thirteen Religious Affairs Specialists received the first echelon management of chemical and biological agent casualties training in order to understand how to effectively provide religious support within contaminated areas of operations.
After the FMCBC classes concluded for the day, the UMTs gathered for "hot-wash" discussions focused on applying what was learned to safely providing religious support to contaminated patients going through the decontamination process.
"Our call to nurture the living, care for the wounded, and honor the fallen does not stop simply because we are operating in a contaminated area," said Chaplain (Capt.) Scott Lovejoy, 22nd Chemical Battalion chaplain. "The course challenged unit ministry teams within the 20th CBRNE Command to be adaptive and to think critically about what Soldier ministry and casualty care looks like in an active CBRN environment."