20th CBRNE Command Ensures Safety by Operationalizing Headquarters Move

20th CBRNE Command
Story by Clemens Gaines

Date: 03.08.2019
Posted: 03.08.2019 13:27
News ID: 313562
'Sand box' briefing visualizes headquarters move

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Leaders of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command received a briefing on Feb. 19 for their scheduled moves in May and August from Edgewood Area to the new headquarters on Aberdeen Proving Ground - North. Building 5046 will be occupied in May while the rest of the command will move in August to the headquarters in Building 5016.

Since the summer of 2018, planners in the operations (G3) section have been actively working out the details of the complex movement of people and equipment. The staff has been holding weekly meetings with a constant focus on safety as well as command readiness to complete missions during each phase of the relocation.

“Last summer, we found a 20x24 foot area in a warehouse where we could create a ‘sand box’ or visual planning area,” explained Maj. Michael Tompkins, the initial lead planner for the move, from Indian Trail, N.C. “This is what the Army frequently uses to identify all of the components of a major movement to literally walk through the stages in a rehearsal of concept briefing to the leadership,” he said.

In January, Capt. Mathew Vick, a native of Havelock, N.C., took over as the lead planner. “Safety, mobile communications, convoy rules and ensuring mission command are among the focus areas of the command’s detailed planning for this unique military operation,” he said.

At the briefing, Brig. Gen. James Bonner, commanding general of the 20th from Anna, Ill., and Command Sgt. Maj. Henny Hodgkins, from Arlington, Va., closely questioned the briefers and set policy on multiple components of the operation including communications and incident protocols during the movements from Edgewood to APG North.

"Safety is paramount and we want to ensure 100 percent accountability of both equipment and personnel throughout the move,” said Hodgkins.

The amount and types of equipment used by the 20th CBRNE Command in its unique mission set requires movement via tractor trailer convoys. Capt. Bradley Weber, a logistics officer from Columbia, Tenn., said, “All convoy vehicles will have a maximum speed limit of five miles per hour under the posted speed limit on both the garrison and public roadways.”

Weber also pointed out that there are identified checkpoints along the route where each vehicle troop commander will report their position to the command’s Combined Operations Information Center.

Multiple offices will move into Building 5046 in May and several will have dual missions to provide continuing support on both Edgewood and APG North. The rest of the command will move in August.

The 20th CBRNE Command's $73 million two-building complex is at the corner of Havre de Grace and Cyber Streets. Both buildings are nearing construction completion, including the installation of furniture and audiovisual equipment.