JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington – The 9th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Company (Technical Escort) “Bounty Hunters” captured first place in the Active Duty category of the 2022 Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert Award.
The Chemical Corps Regimental Association presents the annual award to recognize the best Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard and team or detachment CBRN units in the Army.
The 690th Chemical Corps from Centreville, Alabama, earned first place in the National Guard category, 415th Headquarters and Headquarters Company Chemical Brigade from Greenville, South Carolina, took first place in the Reserve category and 82nd Chemical Reconnaissance Detachment on Fort Carson, Colorado, secured first place in the team category.
Stationed on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the 9th CBRN Company “Bounty Hunters” are part of the 110th Chemical Company (Technical Escort), 48th Chemical Brigade and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier deployable and multifunctional all hazards command.
Soldiers and civilians from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-headquartered 20th CBRNE Command deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to support joint, interagency and allied operations around the world.
Highly specialized units, U.S. Army Technical Escort companies provide advice, assessment, sampling, detection, verification, render safe capabilities, packaging and escort of chemical and biological hazards. They also conduct biological surveillance and limited consequence management support for military forces and civil authorities.
Capt. Benjamin C. McCoy, the commander of the 9th CBRN Company, said the company participated in multiple exercises in 2021.
Among them was an emergency deployment readiness exercise called Operation Spartan Defender at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where the Bounty Hunters teamed up with infantry Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to exploit sensitive sites in a cavernous underground facility.
In August 2021, they participated in the 110th CBRN Battalion (Technical Escort) field training exercise on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and trained to take on radiological hazards.
The “Bounty Hunters” also served on the Contingency Response Force, trained for the National Technical Nuclear Forensics Ground Collection Task Force and supported Explosive Ordnance Disposal missions.
In March 2022, the company trained for Weapons of Mass Destruction technical escort missions on C-17 Globemaster III aircraft with the Air Force Reserve’s 446th Airlift Wing.
“We had some great esprit-de-corps events as well in the form of foundational readiness days and people first activities that really helped us get to know each other and were just plain fun,” said McCoy, a native of Landstuhl, Germany, who has served in the U.S. Army for seven years and the past two years as a company commander.
McCoy said his Soldiers strive for excellence, including 1st Lt. Samantha K. Roberson who was the Technical Escort Course distinguished honor graduate, Staff Sgt. Isaac G. Bocanegra who was the Advanced Leaders Course distinguished honor graduate, Staff Sgt. Trevor J. Wilson who graduated with honors from the Technical Escort Course and Sgt. Laura V. Hill who graduated on the Basic Leaders Course Commandant’s List and served as the course first sergeant.
McCoy also recognized Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L. Salinas Jr. from the 9th CBRN Company’s CBRNE Response Team 2 for being named the distinguished honor graduate and class leadership awardee at the CBRN Warrant Officer Advanced Course. McCoy said Salinas displayed expertise in the military decision-making process, CBRN staff functions, radiation fundamentals and CBRN reconnaissance and decontamination operations.
“Chief Warrant Officer 2 Salinas is a fantastic warrant officer and one of several Soldiers over the course of the year who walked away from schools with more than just a certificate of completion,” said McCoy.
Salinas attributed his success to being a part of a CBRN Warrant Officer Advanced Course cohort with more than 100 years of combined technical and tactical expertise.
Originally from Palo Alto, California, Salinas has deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
An 18-year U.S. Army veteran, Salinas said he decided to serve in the Chemical Corps because he was intrigued with the technical capabilities that Chemical Corps Soldiers bring to the fight, which at the time included smoke, decontamination, reconnaissance and laboratory work.
Salinas said the success of the Bounty Hunters comes from strong bonds forged through strong leadership.
“What makes 9th CBRN Company special to me is the trust Soldiers share with each other, our organization fosters positive relationships by building compassion, consistency, communication and competency,” said Salinas. “A strong foundation of trust has empowered our unit to meet and surpass goals because we believe that we can through the trust our organization has in each individual within the unit.”
The Bounty Hunters company commander echoed his sentiments. McCoy and the company’s senior enlisted leader, 1st Sgt. Kenneth L. Greene Jr., empower their Soldiers to deliver CBRNE expertise on time and on target, McCoy said, adding that the success of the 9th CBRN Company comes down to one key ingredient.
“Simply put we trust each other,” said McCoy. “The bulk of our success at every opportunity and obstacle goes out to our team level leadership and their Soldiers. We trust them and they trust us. Operations are deliberate with a clear task and purpose.”