Selected Marines from units throughout Marine Forces Reserve, attended a five-day chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training course aboard Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Feb. 5, 2015.
The Marines learned about different types of toxic contaminations, equipment, how to use it and how to react to different scenarios and situations. The training ended with a practical application where the Marines performed what they learned through a series of realistic scenarios and situations which required the proper use of their equipment and team work.
“Today the Marines will run through a field scenario with a combination of events of all the things they would have to do in a cross-contaminated environment,” said Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. White, the MARFORRES CBRN officer. “Some of those things will be to identify what chemical agent is out there, to accurately report what they find and to mark a route and move through it.”
Similar to a real life situation, the Marines were divided into reconnaissance and survey teams, each with a specific objective and responsibility. The reconnaissance team is responsible for observing the area, confirming the presence of chemical agents, collecting data and setting up the trail for the next team, said Sgt. Zach Davis, the CBRN training chief from MARFORRES.
After the reconnaissance team is done collecting information, the survey team enters the area to begin their operation.
“They are going to send in the survey team to go ahead and mark off the area, show everybody that it is a dangerous place to be,” said Davis. “They will also have to come up with a plan to get the casualties out of there.”
“The training we are getting at our units is not sufficient,” said Sgt. Aaron Newman, a squad leader in Bravo Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance, 4th Marine Division, MARFORRES. “So these are some of the things that we need to go back and teach our Marines.”
“I learned more than I ever expected to learn,” said Sgt. Nicholas D. Adcock, 2nd platoon sergeant for 4th Supply Co., 4th Marine Logistics Group, MARFORRES. “The practical application we did in this course has been more beneficial concerning CBRN related events than anything else I have ever done in the Marine Corps.”
This training aims to make more Marines knowledgeable about CBRN defense and increase the readiness of units which don’t have their own CBRN defense specialists. Everything the Marines learn from the course helps them become more prepared and aware of how to proceed during a dangerous situation.
“The places where the Marines are going back to, have no 5702s or 5711s who are able to provide subject matter expertise,” said White. “What they take from us here, make them able to go back and apply to their units to improve their readiness in CBRN.”
With this training completed, the Marines can now return to their units, share their knowledge and increase their unit’s combat readiness.