Camp Arifjan, Kuwait -- Soldiers from the 434th Chemical Company, 1st Battalion, 194 Armor Regiment, Task Force Bastard, conducted joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) decontamination training with U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from U.S. Central Command-Enabling Support Package (CENTCOM-ESP) August 12, 2021 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The training served to highlight capabilities and strengthen the relationship between the two units.
“This type of training allows us to verify our tactics, techniques, and procedures in order to ensure we all understand what both our units can bring to the fight,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Brandon Zachry, CBRN Assessment and Response Team leader, CENTCOM-ESP.
“Our mission within the CENTCOM area of responsibility is to serve as the immediate response element to any CBRN incidents that may occur,” said Zachry. “By working with the folks from the 434th, we are able to enhance our own capability to respond to larger-scale incidents that would require a larger decontamination unit.”
The CBRN Assessment and Response Team (CART) is CENTCOM’s primary response element for CBRN events within the region. The team is able to quickly mobilize to sites throughout the CENTOM area of responsibility and conduct sensitive-site assessment to determine what types of possible CBRN threats exist.
“Training with our Navy partners, we are able to build on our existing standard operating procedures and it allows us to achieve and then maintain interoperability,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Dustin Workman, executive officer, 434th Chemical Company.
The 434th is currently deployed to the CENTCOM area of responsibility as part of Task Force Bastard in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
During the training, U.S. Navy EOD technicians from CART walked the Soldiers through their decontamination procedures and explained the various scenarios under which they would work together.
“In Navy EOD, we have lots of different specialties, though our current mission is centered on CBRN-response, it is only one of our core competencies, which include CBRN, demolitions, diving, and airborne-operations,” said U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Technician 1st Class Vince Browne. “For these Soldiers we are training with today, CBRN is what they live and breathe, so this is a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience between our two services.”
Joint training assists both units to prepare for real-world operations that would require a joint response. Due to the size of both units, the 434th stands ready to augment the CART team, when needed.
“The Navy team are the folks that would conduct the initial reconnaissance on possible CBRN sites, but for large-scale incidents, their resources could become exhausted quickly and that’s where we come in,” added Workman.
Working together, across services, was the main focus of the day’s training.
“Learning to work with the Navy, or other services, helps us towards mission success,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Giacomo DiGiacomo, platoon sergeant, 434th Chemical Company. “Training together helps us build that relationship and become more comfortable with one another.”