News: 1st Medical Brigade prepares for upcoming DCRF mission
Story by Spc. Bradley Wancour
FORT HOOD, Texas – 1st Medical Brigade conducted a field training exercise to prepare their tactical operations center for the upcoming Defense CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive) Reactionary Force (DCRF) mission at Fort Hood the week of April 8.
“We are essentially in our crawl phase at the moment, rolling out our equipment, setting up the tents and finding out where we want things positioned when and if we have to react to a domestic CBRNE event,” said Spc. Michael Jones, combat medic and command driver, 1st Med. Bde., Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
Because 1st Med. Bde. had not used their tents in roughly two years, it was important to not only identify potential problems but determine how exactly to use the tents to create a command and control center for the DCRF.
“We’ve been setting the tents up in order to find where the shortages are, and what we need to improve on,” said Jones. “We’ve repositioned them a few times today to see what works best for us.”
Despite having just redeployed in January, 1st Med. Bde. is already busily at work, said Col. Bertram Providence, 1st Med. commander.
“We’ve been conducting table-top planning for this mission ever since 1st Med. came back from Afghanistan,” Providence stated.
While 1st Med. Bde. will be ready to react to domestic CBRNE events, its primary mission is to assist the civilian agencies involved, Providence stated.
“I see the mission as to buy time for the civilian organizations to gather together and react to the event,” said Providence.
While Providence and 1st Med. Bde. are standing by to deploy and assist whenever and wherever they are needed, the hope is that they will never have to.
“We cannot predict what is going to happen in the future,” said Providence. “The only thing we can do is to prepare for anything that may happen. If the DCRF is never activated in my one year in charge of the mission, I would consider that to be good news.”