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    ‘Monumental Success’ Iron Mask 16

    ‘Monumental Success’ Iron Mask 16

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Angel Martinez-Navedo | German Soldier Sgt. 1st Class Serzisko and Sgt. Clinton Vandiver discussed the safest...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Angel Martinez-Navedo 

    20th CBRNE Command

    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Members from the 48th Chemical Brigade (CBRN), 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Command, participated for the second time on Operation Iron Mask hosted by the German army’s 750th CBRN Defense Battalion in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany from 18-29 June.

    The purpose of this multi-national annual training exercise revolves around improving CBRN interoperability between NATO allies from the U.S. and Europe.

    During the exercise, NATO nations displayed a wide scope of CBRN capabilities such as German dismounted reconnaissance, water purification, and decontamination; Danish dismounted reconnaissance; Dutch decontamination, and U.S. Army mounted CBRN reconnaissance from 2nd Cavalry Regiment and a CBRNE Response Team 1 (CRT) from 110th Chemical Battalion (CBRN).

    These capabilities were employed to counter the attacks of the fictional nation of Bothnia as they invaded Estonia with the support of the Novus Ordo Mundi (New World Order) “terrorist” group.

    According to Capt. Alberto Rios Jr., the 9th Chemical Company (CBRNE) commander, the exercise scenarios were so diverse that they necessitated allied nations to foster mutual interoperability and identify capability gaps to successfully complete them.

    The CRT 1, part of the 9th Chemical Company, 110th Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, conducted seven missions ranging from exploiting a clandestine lab to assessing the aftermath of a derailed train.

    “NATO exercise observers were very impressed that the CRT was able to operate independently,” said Rios. “Other countries required external EOD (explosive ordnance disposal unit) and decontamination assets prior to conducting dismounted CBRN reconnaissance.”

    The CRT also received multiple praises from the 750th CBRN Battalion during the course of the exercise. According to Rios, their ability to overcome challenges such as language, culture, and operating in a civilian environment greatly impressed leaders at all levels.

    On the other hand, 1st Lt. Brian Rook, team leader for CRT 1, praised the German army for their effort.

    “The 750th CBRN Battalion provided a world-class training event for us and for all of our NATO allies,” said Rook. “Our CRT could not be more impressed with the variety and scale of every mission we have encountered. We look forward to the opportunity to improve our interoperability with our NATO allies on future Iron Mask exercises.”

    Sgt. 1st Class Keith Pyron, the analytics team leader for the CRT, also expressed admiration for the Germans.

    “Iron Mask 2016 was an excellent opportunity for U.S. forces and NATO allies to enhance CBRNE defense interoperability while executing combined operations in a complex CBRNE environment,” said Pyron. “It was great to see how much camaraderie was built during the course of the exercise. Our team was very impressed with how deliberate and methodical German decontamination operations were.”

    Even Lt. Col. Andreas Winter, the German army 750th Chemical Battalion commander, said he considered the mission a “monumental success” while inviting all participating nations to the next Iron Mask exercise scheduled for October 2017.



    Date Taken: 07.13.2016
    Date Posted: 07.14.2016 18:59
    Story ID: 204013
    Hometown: FORT LEWIS, WA, US

    Web Views: 257
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