The 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command hosted a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate its 16th anniversary Oct. 16, also recognizing the one year anniversary of occupying the new headquarters compound on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Members of the 20th CBRNE organization joined together Friday afternoon to celebrate the history of the unit and commemorate the occasion with a formal ceremony to highlight another successful year of providing the Army with global CBRNE support.
Since the unit’s inception in 2004, the command has transitioned and refined its organizational structure to best suit the needs of the Army’s mission to find and eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Though the name of the unit has changed over the years, the Soldiers and civilians that have served with the command have maintained a high level of professionalism and dedication when representing this unique unit.
Today, the 20th CBRNE Command is a highly-technical, special-purpose formation of approximately 3,800 soldiers and 225 civilians in 16 states on 19 different installations. The 20th CBRNE Command is the Army and Department of Defense's only integrated command with explosive ordnance disposal, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and lab capabilities.
Brig. Gen. Andy Munera, the current commander of the 20th CBRNE Command has a long history with the organization, having previously served with the unit as a field grade officer. When reflecting on the history and evolution of the command, Munera shared, “It is an honor to celebrate 16 years of CBRNE excellence provided by the Soldiers, Civilians and Families of the 20th CBRNE Command. This command, still young in terms of military units, has come a long way in 16 years and is recognized as the experts on CBRNE operations within the Department of Defense and globally – there is no other unit like us in the world.” Munera continued that as an original member of the command, now returning as the Command General, “I think I am uniquely qualified to make that assessment. As we look towards the future, the 20th CBRNE will continue to lead the nation in deterring the use of weapons of mass destruction, and if an adversary makes the unfortunate decision to employ weapons of mass destruction, we remain ready to provide highly trained forces to enable the lethality of the Joint Force to fight and win in a contaminated environment.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Henney Hodgkins, the current command sergeant major of the 20th CBRNE Command also previously served with the unit as an enlisted Soldier. Hodgkins stated that having the opportunity to return to Aberdeen Proving Grounds and serve as the senior enlisted advisor,
“Is truly a privilege. Our Soldiers and civilians work tirelessly every day to improve the Army’s capabilities in response to the global threats of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive hazards.” Hodgkins went on to express her thanks to all the Army and Joint, Inter-organizational and Multinational partners who makes mission accomplishment possible. She conclude by articulating her appreciation to all the family members of the command, “Noncommissioned Officers are often refer to as ‘the backbone’ of the Army, therefore I submit to you that families are ‘the backbone’ of our Soldier. Thanks for all that goes unnoticed.”