Peninsula’s Army CBRNE unit prepares to “Fight Tonight”

by Story and photo by Sgt. Eliverto V Larios
5th Mobile Public Affairs Det
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea – As the only U.S. Army permanently forward-stationed unit, the 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-US Combined Division maintains peace and stability on the peninsula. The goal to preserve its units readiness remains its number one priority. They train to remain proficient in their skills and are prepared to “Fight Tonight” in support of the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance. 
As the Division headquarters elements wrap up a two-week computer based exercise that ran from Aug. 22-Sep.1, many of its subordinate units took this time to hone their skills during field training exercise. 
Soldiers of the 61st Chemical Company, 23rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Battalion, took that time this week to conduct site-assessment training. 
As the Division’s CBRNE unit, the team said it is important to keep up with the standards set by the Division. 
“We are here to support any combatant commander, so we have to be ready,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Shick, a squad leader in the platoon. “We are on call for any decontamination mission on this peninsula. We have to be ready to go out and handle it whenever we are called for it.”
The Soldiers tested their abilities to prepare a decontamination site and identify any potential hazardous agents.
“We had our team go in and search a building for chemical agents,” said 2nd Lt. Alexander Davie, a platoon leader with the unit. “They tested different rooms to see if they could find any chemical agents and any type of biological agent as well.”
Donned in their full mission-oriented protective posture gear, Soldiers walked through the heavy rainfall and approached the building with ease. After walking around and taking note of any suspicious characteristics, they entered and began to conduct a thorough search of the building. Upon discovery of several agents, the Soldiers took note of it and marked the area.
Before this week, the Soldiers spent several days practicing these tactics.
“We’ve been training up at the company area,” said Shick. “It is important to train on these things so that we do it right the first time.”
While enhancing the skills and knowledge of their equipment, the Soldiers also focused on their ability to work as a team. With Soldiers constantly moving in and out of the unit, Shick said he feels it is important to keep all his Soldiers trained and ready. 
“This training is important to us because we have a new team coming together,” he said. “It lets them see that there are bigger things than just a target in the room.”
Davie also tested his Soldiers with many real-life scenarios, hiding different agents through the building and making his team search every corner, creating a more complex, real environment. He also simulated a team leader casualty in hopes of his team being able to complete the mission. 
He said, “It is also important that the Soldiers know the job of the guy in front of them as well.”
The unit plans to continue training and maintaining its readiness for the battalion FTX coming up soon. It’s Soldiers all agreed that the need to be ready, no matter the situation, will continue to be a priority for the Soldiers in the 62st Chemical Company. 
Davie said, “Its important for us to practice and practice because we have to be able to be knowledgeable in what we are doing and be able to Fight Tonight.”

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