News: Specialized military unit changes leadership
Story by Lt. Col. Carol McClelland
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A unit with a unique mission to counter chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives and weapons of mass destruction threats changed leadership, April 13, at a ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
Randall Bartley became the second permanent director of CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, or CARA, a subordinate unit of the 20th Support Command. Bartley took over from acting director Lt. Col. Charles Asowata, Ph.D., who has served in the position since June 2011.
“CARA is perhaps one of the most dynamic and extraordinary organizations within not only the 20th Support Command, but within the entire Department of Defense,” said Brig. Gen. Leslie Smith, commander during his officiating remarks. “CARA is truly a national treasure and an institution that is vital for the safety and security of the nation. The men and women of CARA execute a diverse and complex set of missions with a relatively lean workforce of slightly more than 100.”
Made up almost entirely of civilians, the majority of its personnel are deployable and approximately 75 percent of the workforce is either prior or retired military. Divided into four sections, two remediation response units, an aviation and Mobile Expeditionary Laboratory, CARA provides support to combatant commanders, conducts stockpile and non-stockpile operations, remediation, analytical laboratory support and technical escort of surety and non-surety material. Outgoing acting director Asowata commented on some of CARA’s achievements.
“Our aviation section flew 268 missions with 956 hours of flight time with no accident or incident. Our Mobile Expeditionary Laboratory performed both new equipment training and operational assessment and validated it during our recent exercise in Korea. Our remediation response teams performed eight major projects with impeccable success and the CARA staff performed 73 surety and non-surety escorts without accident.” Recognizing the operations, administrative, finance sections and logisticians, Asowata called them the “unsung heroes that provided the force multiplier life-lines for the success of CARA.”
Bartley, a fifth generation soldier, joins CARA with 30 years of experience from both the government and private sectors in CBRNE related fields and said he was delighted to continue to be part of the CBRNE team. A number of his former supervisors attended the ceremony and he thanked them by name.