CAMP HOVEY, South Korea -- U.S. Army Chemical Corps Soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, deployed to South Korea to support the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance.
American Soldiers from the 181st Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Company (Hazardous Response) are serving on a rotational deployment to support the 23rd CBRN Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division and Eighth Army.
The 181st CBRN Company replaced the 71st CBRN Company from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, as the rotational CBRN company during a ceremony, Nov. 1.
The Fort Hood, Texas-based 181st CBRN Company “Double Dragons” are part of the 2nd CBRN Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier all hazards command.
From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.
Capt. Matthew E. Bertram, the commander of the 181st CBRN Company, said his company is the forward-most CBRN unit in South Korea, serving at Camp Hovey, which is 15 miles from the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
The Double Dragons commander said his company is training with U.S. Army maneuver forces.
“We have already integrated with aviation, artillery and the rotational Stryker Brigade in theater,” said Bertram, a native of Frederick, Maryland, who earned his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and a master’s degree with a countering Weapons of Mass Destruction focus from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.
Bertram also served as a fellow at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
According to Bertram, the Double Dragons served on the Defense CBRN Response Force, a domestic response task force commanded by U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support, from June 2019 to May 2021.
The company then prepared to deploy to South Korea with numerous training events, including a training rotation at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California, and a final company evaluation by the 48th Chemical Brigade.
The U.S. military has 28,500 service members stationed in South Korea who maintain security on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia.
Bertram said his Soldiers have also had the opportunity to visit popular cultural and recreational sites in South Korea.
“The 181st CBRN Company has already embraced the culture and scenery of the Republic of Korea, conducting a company hike up Soyosan Mountain and completing multiple running events hosted by Camp Casey,” said Bertram.