NEWS | May 15, 2020

Clean Teams Train to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve

By Sgt. Sarah Sangster

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Units with the 25th Infantry Division have been training soldiers to work in clean teams across Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, as part of a multitude of prevention measures the garrison has in place to trace, prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"The clean team training they received will provide them with the skills to establish an incident command post in cordon, disinfect large surface areas using the principles of decontamination and most importantly protect themselves with the highest level of personal protective equipment and individual decontamination available," said Army Capt. Charles Carlock, the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, officer with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

Each battalion within the division has a clean team made up of 12 personnel led by a noncommissioned officer. The team is designed to respond to any suspected COVID-19 cases and disinfect any large surface areas.

"We went over the step-by-step process on how to decontaminate a room sticking to the biohazard of COVID-19," said Army Staff Sgt. Brain Henneman, the CBRN NCO in charge for 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment,. "We trained on how to properly don your gear, go into the room, clean it, and doff your gear while we clean the areas."

"The overall purpose of this training is to flatten the curve of COVID-19," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Carmine Moon, the CBRN NCO in charge for 3rd BCT. "I feel like I have purpose now as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense NCO, and I can use my training to help others."

Once the unit gets notified, the soldiers arrive at the affected area and establish a command post. Once the command post is established, team members will don their gear and begin conducting a site survey. The survey includes taking overlapping photos of the affected area, inventorying any high dollar items and making an area sketch that includes all four walls.

After the site survey is conducted, the team begins cleaning the area. Teams work from top to bottom, spraying a bleach solution mixed in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended bleach-to-water ratio. All hard surfaces are wiped down, floors are mopped and on the way out, they sanitize doors, hallways, stairs and any direct pathways that were used.

The Soldiers then go to the doffing station to remove their gear, following specific procedures to ensure there are no biohazard risks.

"We are showing how we can adapt and show off our capabilities," Henneman said. "Overall, everyone got good training and now know how to properly take action protecting their neighbors and the force in our nations fight against COVID-19."