ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Brig. Gen. Antonio V. Munera became the eighth commander of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command June 9.
He succeeded Brig. Gen. James E. Bonner who served as the commander since July 2017. Bonner has been selected as the next commanding general at the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Bonner was presented with the Legion of Merit medal by the ceremony host Lt. Gen. Leopoldo Quintas, the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command.
“Since its activation in 2004, the 20th has provided a scalable response capability with flexibility to operate in a wide variety of environments – from urban areas to austere sites across the spectrum of military operations.” Quintas said.
Noting the uniqueness of missions in the 20th, Quintas highlighted that, “the Command’s CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity conducted three remediation missions and 12 emergency responses of recovered chemical warfare material which included high-profile missions at the University of Pennsylvania and on San Jose Island, Panama.”
In his brief remarks, Bonner emphasized the opportunities he had been given and what it meant to lead Soldiers.
“I want to thank the leadership at FORSCOM for the opportunity to command the 20th since July 2017,” Bonner said. "To command a unit in the Army is a premier position, and I am grateful for the three years that Debra and I have been here.”
Munera takes command following two years as the deputy commanding general at the U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He also noted the distinctive missions in his new command.
“This is truly a one-of-a-kind command that ensures the Army and our Nation can not only prevent the use and mitigate the effects of the deadliest of hazards on the battlefield, but through application of our unique tools, we can ensure the Army is ready to exploit the use should an adversary make a poor decision to employ CBRN or explosive hazards on the battlefield,” Munera said.
The 20th CBRNE Command is a highly-technical, special purpose formation of approximately 3,500 soldiers and 225 civilians in 16 states on 19 different installations, headquartered at APG. The 20th CBRNE Command is the Army’s and Defense Department’s only integrated command with CBRN, EOD, and lab capabilities.
The small ceremony took place in front of the Command’s two-building, $88 million headquarters complex that was opened last October. The virtual ceremony was presented via Facebook Live to adhere to Department of Defense social distancing guidelines and maintain the continued safety and well-being of 20th CBRNE Soldiers and employees.
To close out his time as commander, Bonner said, “We welcome Andy and his wife, Tacy, back to the 20th family and Team APG. I care about these Soldiers, their families, and these missions. Winning Matters, Army Strong, Liberty We Defend!”