DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah – Highly specialized units from the U.S. military’s premier Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) command refined their sampling and reconnaissance techniques during an exercise on Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, in August.
American Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command trained with joint and interagency partners during the command’s Sampling Operations and Reconnaissance Exercise.
Designed to validate standard operating procedures in a tactical environment, the exercise brought together many units from the 20th CBRNE Command, including the 48th Chemical Brigade, 1st Area Medical Laboratory and CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity.
Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the active-duty U.S. Army’s EOD technicians and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) specialists, 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.
Command Sgt. Maj. Crystal D. Irby, the senior enlisted leader for the 110th CBRN Battalion (Technical Escort), said SOREX enabled the 20th CBRNE Command as well as other units and agencies to train together in a complex environment.
Irby said the exercise will help U.S. forces to succeed during multidomain operations against near-peer adversaries where CBRNE may be used to harm troops and hinder operations.
“The information collected from this exercise will undoubtedly impact how we operate in support of large-scale combat operations,” said Irby. “This exercise will be very beneficial for the battalion’s future mission set.”
Irby said the multi-faceted exercise helped the 110th CBRN Battalion’s new commander, Lt. Col. Stephen M. Siegner, to observe his Soldiers in a tactical environment. Siegner assumed command of the 110th CBRN Battalion in June.
“This training exercise is the ‘crawl phase’ in the battalion’s glide path to conducting operations at the National Training Center in the spring of next year,” said Irby.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington-based 110th CBRN Battalion recently completed a 12-month mission on the U.S. Northern Command Joint Task Force-Civil Support’s Defense CBRN Response Force that provides support to civil authorities.
Located 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Dugway Proving Ground enables troops to test CBRN defense measures in a secure and isolated training environment. Irby said Dugway Proving Ground was the ideal location to host the exercise.
“I want to highlight the professionalism and expertise of the scientists that have worked to ensure we are being provided the most realistic training scenarios that fully test our capabilities. Not only has the training been realistic but these professionals have also provided our teams with value added feedback at the end of every mission allowing our Soldiers to see the ‘why’ of the scenarios,” said Irby.
“Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, provides advanced training concepts and realistic scenarios that test our Soldiers technical proficiency allowing the unit to also focus on tactical concepts,” said Irby. “We look forward to returning and allowing our leaders to attend additional advanced CBRN courses that are offered on the installation.”
A native of Shelby, North Carolina, and graduate of Webster University who has deployed to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan during her 23 years in the U.S. Army, Irby said she is proud to serve as a Dragon Soldier in the Chemical Corps.
“From the time my recruiter showed me the video of Chemical Soldiers training, I knew that was what I had to do,” said Irby. “I’m proud to be a Dragon Soldier and I have the utmost confidence in the capabilities we bring to the fight and our tremendous impact on sustainment operations.”