News: Soldiers prepare for new CBRNE mission
Story by Sgt. Ange Desinor
WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass.- Soldiers from Task Force 51 and Task Force 76 participated in the command and control, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Response Element-Alpha Digital Command Post Exercise, here, June, 10-12.
The C2CRE-A is an ongoing mission in which different units rotate, said Maj. Thomas Parshall, TF 76 chief of operations. It's also designed to provide federal forces with a tiered response capability to CBRNE incidents, to employ and sustain specialized Department of Defense forces.
The Army supports TF-51 with the personnel and equipment necessary to maintain the only standing all-hazards response force focused on U.S. soil.
During the exercise, all key personnel ensure important information is distributed to all the participants and proper mentorship and training is conducted,” said Lt.Col. Andrew Novitske, TF 51 operations officer.
Lt. Col. Jerry Roberts, a CBRNE representative from the Consequence Management Unit at Abingdon, Md., said the idea of the exercise is to use capabilities ranging from detection and assessment of a suspected CBRNE incident,to robust task forces providing life-saving search and rescue teams.
The C2CRE-A is currently led by U.S. Army North deployable command post, Task Force 51, said Novitske. It is comprised of active Army and Army National Guard. They play a key role in the training and readiness of the DOD C2CRE-A.
"The purpose of the training is to help prepare the C2CRE-A for validation this summer," said Lt. Col. Bill Tomlin, a Kennedy, Ala., native and an Army North lead exercise planner."In case of a CBRNE incident, the training provides a quick response time and a constant state of readiness."
Novitske said the TF 51 is doing a battle hand-off with TF 76, who will assume the C2CRE-A mission Oct. 1.
To prepare for a successful hand-off, key leaders from both units had a chance to meet one another and discuss the mission for the upcoming year, weeks before the exercise.
"This week, we wanted U.S. Army North commanders to have a good feeling on how the battle hand-off is occurring," said Novitske.
He said conducting a synchronization matrix, allows key leaders to see how many of the tasks they have accomplished.
"CBRNE is a huge cog in the wheel," said Novitske. "TF 51 is passing along proven products and templates to TF 76. We're conducting red, amber and green phase training and will discuss the tasks as they are accomplished. The entire enterprise is extremely critical."