CBRN offers combat survival training
Story and photo by Virginia Reza/ The Monitor
FORT BLISS, Tx. (TRADOC News Service, July 6, 2006) - The Chemical, Biological, Radio-logical and Nuclear staff, previously known as the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical staff, offered its seventh fiscal-year course for unit-level CBRN officers, noncommissioned officers and alternates to reinstate and provide them with skills needed to train other Soldiers.
The purpose of the course was to qualify both active-duty and Reserve Soldiers with the knowledge necessary to perform the additional duties of CBRN officers and NCOs at the company and detachment levels.
The students went through a two-week course, which stresses drills, skills and knowledge on how to defend themselves against nuclear, chemical and biological agents in the battlefield.
On the last day of the course, the students went through the gas chamber to help them build confidence in their mission oriented protective posture gear.
While inside the chamber, the students were required to perform several tasks, such as running in place which increases breathing rates and helps detect mask leakage. Other tasks included drinking water and donning and sealing their masks while in a contaminated area.
The course certified CBRN officers and NCOs to train other Soldiers in their different platoons and sections.
"This is a refresher course for me because this is what I do in my unit," said Spc. Jason Moore from A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery. "It helps me to stay on top of things. It has been about three and a half years ago since last took the course."
"There are many tasks you have to remember in a CBRN position and sometimes they only get to practice on one specific task," said Carlos Sierr, operations instructor at the CBRN School. "That's why it's important for them to attend this course and refresh their memory on all tasks."
"We also teach a three-day course in CBRN room operations, which involves operational maintenance of equipment in an organization," said David Sanchez, senior instructor for the CBRN School.
The school has a capability to hold 25 students per course and the classes are held every month. Each brigade is entitled to five slots for every course. The priority is set up for officers and NCOs who will hold or are holding CBRN positions.