News: Specialized units train to counter CBRNE threats
Story by Walter Ham
FORT IRWIN, Calif. - During Exercise Atropian Phoenix, specialized U.S. Army units are working to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of circulation.
American Soldiers from the 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) and the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team are training this week at this Mojave Desert post in California to ensure the U.S. Army remains ready to conduct decisive action operations across the full hazard CBRNE spectrum.
The exercise integrates 20th CBRNE Command Soldiers with ground combat units from the 2nd SBCT "Lancers" from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The 20th CBRNE Deputy Commander Col. Kyle Nordmeyer said Atropian Phoenix enables the units involved to tackle a wide variety of conventional, irregular and hybrid enemy threats and to locate, identify and eliminate enemy threat systems and capabilities to include explosive and unconventional improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction.
The exercise is taking place at three locations across the nation: the 20th CBRNE Command Operational Command Post on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; at the 48th Chemical Brigade Headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas; and at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif.
According to 20th CBRNE Command Chief of Staff Col. Richard A. Schueneman, the exercise gives the U.S. Department of Defense's only dedicated CBRNE command the opportunity to ensure it has the right capabilities in the right places.
"We are evaluating the capabilities of a CBRNE Battalion Task Force to determine if we have the right personnel, equipment, and [tactics, techniques and procedures] to support a land force commander's CBRNE hazards mission requirements which include countering WMD, IED and conventional threats during this rotation," said Schueneman.
As the U.S. Army's sole formation tasked with combating Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive threats, the 20th CBRNE Command not only trains to support American military operations around the globe but also works with U.S. government agencies to defend the homeland against CBRNE threats.