ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland – American Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from the Department of Defense’s premier all hazards formation marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that led to the creation of their command.
At a memorial luncheon Sept. 9 on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command remembered those lost on 9/11 and paid tribute to service members who have served in the conflicts that followed.
Forged out of need to respond to the growing threats of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive weapons in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, 20th CBRNE Command was created to consolidate the U.S. Army’s CBRNE capabilities into a multifunctional headquarters.
Attended by leaders, Soldiers and civilians from the command and installation, the luncheon was coordinated by 20th CBRNE Command Chaplain Lt. Col. Martin S. Cho, who also gave the invocation at the luncheon.
The Global Vision Christian School Tae Kwon Do Demonstration Team performed at the luncheon. The team trains in the popular Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do at their school in Scotland, Pennsylvania, and every student has to earn a 2nd and 3rd degree black belt to graduate. The students are also taught the Tae Kwon Do tenets of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirt – which are similar to U.S. military values.
Maj. Mark S. Quint served as narrator and Esther Y. Cho sang the National Anthem. The luncheon also featured a scripture reading by Cpl. Meagan D. Burke and prayer by James B. Area, members of the 20th CBRNE Command.
Introduced by 20th CBRNE Command Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics Lt. Col. Drew Brown, the guest speaker was Lt. Col. (P) David P. Curlin, the chaplain for the U.S. Army Forces Command chief of Operations and Sustainment.
During his remarks, Curlin talked about his decision to join the U.S. Army after 9/11 and emphasized the importance of having a clear vision and seeking help when needed.
“Living with 20/20 vision is great but most of us need help,” said Curlin, a former infantry officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Maj. Gen. Antonio V. Munera, the commanding general of 20th CBRNE Command, thanked Soldiers and civilians for their service.
“Know that we are proud of what this command and installation have accomplished,” said Munera. “We have Soldiers and civilians presently supporting combatant commanders around the world and I know that they continue to serve with honor and valor when called upon.”
Highlighting the limestone piece from the damaged section of Pentagon that marks the entrance to the 20th CBRNE Command’s headquarters building on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Munera said it serves as “a constant reminder of the impact of that day.”
Munera said 20th CBRNE Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground continue to accomplish critical missions to defend the nation. Situated in Maryland’s science, technology and security corridor, APG is the nation’s oldest active proving ground and 20th CBRNE Command is the Department of Defense’s only deployable CBRNE headquarters.
“Only we can do what we do to safeguard the nation from the threats of CBRN and explosive hazards,” said Munera. “This installation ensures that the Army continues to outpace our adversaries through your work on developing, testing and fielding the most modern equipment to our Soldiers."