ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland – The U.S. Army South commanding general recognized two Soldiers from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command for supporting Exercise Fused Response 2021.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert V. Hocog and Master Sgt. Tyler W. Lemmons received personal letters from Maj. Gen. William L. Thigpen, the commanding general of U.S. Army South, for their efforts during the exercise, July 6 - 16.
“Your CBRN knowledge and experience was invaluable to the success of the command. Army South is now better postured to execute its critical mission,” wrote Thigpen, who assumed command of U.S. Army South, the Army service component command for U.S. Southern Command, in June. “We look forward to working with the 20th CBRNE team in the future to address planning and operational support during both training and real-world CRBN crisis events.”
Maj. Gen. Antonio V. Munera, the commanding general for 20th CBRNE Command, recognized both Soldiers with command coins.
Hocog and Lemmons are part of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Team 2.
“We assisted (U.S. Army South) in the allocation and synchronization of CBRNE assets to enable freedom of maneuver and preservation of the force,” said Hocog, an Army Ranger and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear technician from Salinas, California.
Lemmons is an 11-year Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician from Tehachapi, California, who has deployed to Iraq three times, Afghanistan once and Syria once. A former instructor at the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, Lemmons has participated in 150 EOD missions overseas and 40 domestic explosive mitigation missions.
WCTs deploy around the world to support combatant commanders, supported commanders and lead federal agencies. During Exercise Fused Response, Hocog and Lemmons went to U.S. Southern Command Headquarters in Doral, Florida, and U.S. Army South Headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the U.S. Army’s EOD and CBRN units, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, three Nuclear Disablement Teams and five WMD Coordination Teams. From 19 military installations in 16 states, Soldiers and civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command deploy to take on the world’s most dangerous weapons and hazards in support of military operations and civil authorities.
In addition to WCT 2, the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 51st Hazard Response Company participated in the exercise and advised components about CBRNE capabilities. The 51st Hazard Response “Cobra” Company is part of the 83rd CBRN Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade and 20th CBRNE Command.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carl A. Kortum from the 51st Hazard Response Company integrated with planners from Department of State, Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Southern Command elements and provided subject matter expertise throughout the planning process, to include target handover and disposition of contaminated materials.
Integrating in the exercise, Capt. Jenny R. Metzler, the commander of the 51st Hazard Response Company, provided multiple CBRN options to the ground force commanders.
According to Maj. Derek E. Taylor, the operations officer for the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 83rd CBRN Battalion, Soldiers from the 51st Hazard Response Company played an instrumental role in the exercise.
“Soldiers executed detailed troop and equipment decontamination on the assault force element and synchronized efforts that set conditions for potential follow on missions,” said Taylor. “51st Soldiers demonstrated mission command and adaptability throughout the entirety of the mission as the operational environment continued to develop.”