News: Squadrons learn self-reliance in CBRN attacks
Story by Cpl. Claudio Martinez
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 and Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 Marines participated in a three-day Monitor, Survey, and Decontamination course at the Marine Aircraft Group 12 Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense training facility here Oct. 25 - 27.
The course trained service members in the basics of monitoring and surveying and decontaminating CBRN contamination.
“In my (military occupational specialty), we are reactionary,” said Sgt. Peter Hatfield, MAG-12 CBRN Defense non-commissioned officer-in-charge. “We train for the worst, hope for the best. If we were not to do this training we, as a unit, would not know how to react or have sufficient personnel assets. Using this philosophy — train for the worst, hope for the best — we will be prepared.”
At least 25 percent of each squadron’s E-5 and below are required to participate in the course, in addition to quarterly MSD refresher training.
The service members are trained to increase the unit’s readiness against any CBRN threat, whether attack or accidental.
Hatfield said the training allows each individual unit to become self-sustained by having a group of service members within its ranks qualified in handling a contaminated environment.
“Here with (MAG-12) we (as CBRN defense specialist) are deployable,” said Hatfield. “We could become contaminated here or we can be deployed forward. Whatever the case, our units are able to self-sustain by conducting monitor, survey, and decontamination missions.”
Participating Marines spent hours each day learning the dangers of CBRN threats and how to counter their effects. Marines also received hands-on training with Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear, detection equipment and decontamination methods for personnel and equipment.
On the third day of the course, Marines were tested on the knowledge they learned throughout the training with a written test and a performance evaluation.
“If there ever were to be a (CBRN) attack, I think I’d be ready and I’d know what to do to help other people,” said Pfc. Courtney Moss, a MALS- 12 ordnance technician and course participant. “If something were to kick off, the unit would be able to send us out to help.”
Moss said even though she feels confident she would be able to respond to a CBRN threat, she would like additional training so she could be more effective in the event of an attack. Several participating Marines felt the training they received greatly increased their combative abilities.
“We are definitely more combat ready with this training,” said Lance Cpl. Dragos Carstea, a VMFA (AW )-242 flight equipment technician. “I think training like this is very important and I think it would be a good idea to have more Marines trained in this. The more Marines that know this the better and more prepared we will be in combat.”
For more information on attending this training contact their unit’s training representative.