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    Command post exercise brings challenges to solve

    Deployed complex

    Photo By Clemens Gaines | The operational command post complex included a dozen airbeam tents, surrounded by...... read more read more



    Story by Clemens Gaines 

    20th CBRNE Command

    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - For the first time in two years, the 20 CBRNE Command set up its airbeam tents, pulled in generators, connected communications lines, and created its deployable command post to test the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to effectively perform its unique mission set around the clock in an austere environment.

    Lt. Col. Jason Snelgrove, chief of operations, noted that “This entire effort strengthens effective training to simulate the 20th actually deploying to an austere environment, setting up operations, and responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive ordnance taskings in support of a combatant commander.”

    On the gravel lot north of building 5046 on Havre de Grace Street, a dozen large green and tan tents, with concertina wire surrounding the complex, were set up by Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC). Large forced air tubes with holes ran the length in each of the 12 tents to keep the interior working environment balanced from the heat outside and the people and equipment inside. The tents enclosed several thousand square feet of working space, with plastic sectional flooring, for an operational command post as well as entry control and Soldier working areas.

    Following Covid-19 protocols, a portable hand washing station was in front of the entry control point tent, temperatures were taken, and masks were worn. HHC coordinated for food delivery to support 24-hour operations.

    Staffing included all of the unique military occupational specialties in the 20th including Soldiers with chemical, explosive ordnance, nuclear, intelligence and communications expertise. Operations were set in a battle rhythm to track events and receive and respond to taskings continuously during the four-day exercise that began Aug. 17.

    Throughout the exercise, a team known as the White Cell tested the command team by sending in taskings, floated rumors, and highlighted false social media comments, to challenge the Soldiers day and night and then monitor how the command responded to each situation. These White Cell tasks, called injects, often challenged the Soldiers to evaluate and respond to simultaneous, fast-moving events that demanded analysis and action.

    Snelgrove noted that every element of the exercise would be reviewed in an after-action review process to identify strengths and provide solutions for any improvement areas. “In addition, later this year, we will actually go to an off-site location to train, test and evaluate our ability to deploy. What we are doing is a real-world capability that the headquarters must have, and we must have a positive solution to any issues in order to bring our capabilities to bear and solve problems for a combatant commander.”



    Date Taken: 08.18.2020
    Date Posted: 09.04.2020 10:26
    Story ID: 377488

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