Training exercise
Soldiers from the 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion honed their skills for a wide variety of missions during a battalion field training exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia. Together with route and rear reconnaissance, sample collections and decontamination missions, the CBRN Soldiers also trained to conduct Weapons of Mass Destruction site exploitation missions. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT STEWART, Ga. – U.S. Army Chemical Corps Soldiers trained to keep troops in the fight following a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack during large scale combat operations against a near peer competitor.

The 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion “Lightning Dragons” honed their skills for a wide variety of missions during a battalion field training exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia.

In support of 3rd Infantry Division units, the CBRN battalion enabled lethality through route and rear reconnaissance, sample collections and decontamination missions. The CBRN Soldiers also trained to conduct Weapons of Mass Destruction site exploitation missions.

Maj. Ronald J. Runyan, the operations officer for the 83rd CBRN Battalion, said the exercise was a team effort and the battalion trained with numerous Army units, including the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment; 3rd Infantry Division Aviation Brigade; 92nd Engineers Battalion; 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion; and First Army observers and controllers. Sister chemical battalions also supported the exercise.

“Our team has done a great job in planning, coordinating and executing this training event,” said Runyan, a native of Leavenworth, Kansas, who has served in the U.S. Army for 13 years. “The 6-8th Cavalry provided our Hazardous Assessment Platoons with the opportunity to train and validate thorough decontamination and be the first to decontaminate the newly fielded M1A2 SEP v3 main battle tank. The Aviation Brigade supported our aircraft decontamination, sample transport and medical evacuation training.”

Training exercise
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A U.S. Army Chemical Corps Soldier assigned to the 83rd Chemical Battalion sprays a cleaning solution on the side of a modernized M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, assigned to the "Mustang Squadron," 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, during a joint decontamination exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia, Aug. 24, 2022. Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear skills, such as decontamination, exist to enable movement and maneuver to conduct large-scale ground combat operations in a CBRN environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin McClarran) VIEW ORIGINAL
Decontamination training
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Chemical Corps Soldiers assigned to the 83rd Chemical Battalion mops a modernized M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, assigned to the "Mustang Squadron," 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, with cleaning solution during a joint decontamination exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia, Aug. 24, 2022. Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear skills, such as decontamination, exists to enable movement and maneuver to conduct large-scale ground combat operations in a CBRN environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin McClarran) VIEW ORIGINAL
Training exercise
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion honed their skills for a wide variety of missions during a battalion field training exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia. The 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion “Lightning Dragons” honed their skills for a wide variety of missions during a battalion field training exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Overcoming intense summer heat while wearing protective clothing, the Lightning Dragons also honed their warrior skills during the exercise, engaging in mock enemy firefights and confronting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

“We emphasized tactical skills critical to survive in large scale combat operations,” said Runyan. “We cannot afford to just focus on our technical skills but must also balance technical training so that our Lightning Dragon Soldiers can transition and integrate between our common tactical tasks and our Military Occupation Specialty specific tasks seamlessly.”

The Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 83rd CBRN Battalion is part of the 48th Chemical Brigade and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier multifunctional and deployable all hazards command.

Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the Active Duty U.S. Army’s CBRN and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams and three Nuclear Disablement Teams.

American Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.

Training exercise
Soldiers from the 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion honed their skills for a wide variety of missions during a battalion field training exercise on Fort Stewart, Georgia. The Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 83rd CBRN Battalion is part of the 48th Chemical Brigade and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier multifunctional and deployable all hazards command. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

The 83rd CBRN Battalion commands five companies stationed across Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Drum, New York.

Runyan said the “Lightning Dragons” conduct annual training to maintain their ability to integrate with maneuver forces, adding that the CBRN battalion brings many critical capabilities to the fight during large scale combat operations.

“We provide commanders the ability to fight and win in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive environment anywhere in the world. We do this by providing decontamination, CBRNE reconnaissance, sensitive site exploitation and sample transport through our Hazard Response and Technical Escort companies,” said Runyan. “Finally, we provide a CBRNE Battalion Task Force Headquarters capable of providing mission command of any CBRNE operation and advising a division headquarters and staff on CBRN and countering Weapons of Mass Destruction operations.”

An Iraq War veteran who has served in South Korea, Runyan said he became a Chemical Corps officer because of the impact he could have on the modern battlefield.

“The requirement for a chemical officer in virtually every unit in the Army has provided me a vast number of experiences and opportunities,” said Runyan. “CBRNE impacts every aspect of our Armed Forces and potentially our homes.”