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    Troops remain vigilant on solemn 100th anniversary

    Troops remain vigilant on solemn centennial anniversary

    Courtesy Photo | Soldiers from 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear,...... read more read more



    Story by Walter Ham 

    20th CBRNE Command

    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - On Flanders Fields, 100 years ago today, chemical warfare became a battlefield reality that Soldiers have had to prepare for ever since.

    After German forces used chlorine gas on British, French, Canadian and Algerian forces in Belgium on April 22, 1915, during World War I, chemical weapons went on to claim tens of thousands of lives during the remainder of the war.

    The horrific nature of these weapons led to the Geneva Protocol in 1925, an international agreement that prohibited the use of chemical and biological agents in warfare. In 1972, biological weapons were banned. In 1993, the Chemical Weapons Convention banned the use, development, production, testing and stockpiling of chemical weapons.

    The U.S. Army's Chemical Warfare Service was established on June 28, 1918, to manage chemical offensive and defensive chemical weapons programs. After the U.S. joined both conventions and renounced biological and chemical weapons, U.S. Army Chemical Corps Soldiers shifted their focus to defending the nation against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

    Today, 85 percent of the Active U.S. Army's chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) capabilities are part of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command.

    Routinely operating with joint, interagency and allied partners around the world, 20th CBRNE Soldiers and civilians defend the nation and its allies from CBRNE threats.

    Chemical Corps troops, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and Nuclear Specialists serve in the 20th CBRNE Command, the U.S. Army's only multifunctional formation that combats global CBRNE Threats.

    "While chemical weapons have been outlawed, some nations have not joined the convention and other non-state actors seek to use these insidious weapons against our troops, our allies and innocent civilians," said Brig. Gen. JB Burton, the commanding general of the 20th CBRNE Command.

    Burton said the 100th anniversary of chemical warfare serves as a sobering reminder of why the U.S. military must stay ready for any threat it could potentially face on the modern battlefield.

    "History has proven that the best way to deter threats is by being ready to defeat them," said Burton, a native of Tullahoma, Tennessee.



    Date Taken: 04.22.2015
    Date Posted: 04.22.2015 16:15
    Story ID: 160864
    Location: TULLAHOMA, TN, US 

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