An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | April 26, 2023

American, South Korean Nuclear Teams Improve Interoperability on Korean Peninsula

By Walter T. Ham IV 20th CBRNE Command

SEOUL, South Korea -- Highly specialized nuclear teams from the United States and South Korea strengthened their interoperability during NDT-NCT Partnership VIII on the Korean Peninsula, March 20 – 24.

U.S. Army Nuclear Disablement Teams (NDT) trained with their Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts from the ROK Nuclear Characterization Teams (NCT) during the defensive-oriented exercise.

Maj. Ariel A. Alcaide, the deputy team leader for Nuclear Disablement Team 3, said the teams have forged an important partnership that contributes to security on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia.

“The NDT-NCT partnership is unique to the NDTs,” said Alcaide, a former military intelligence officer who also served as a nuclear logistics planner aboard the U.S. Strategic Command’s Airborne Command Post. “Due to our similar mission set, the NDT-NCT partnership is the only relationship the NDT has with an allied nation military force.”

Alcaide said the NCTs and NDTs serve as the premier nuclear infrastructure characterization assets for their respective nations.

While there are many similarities, the U.S. and South Korean nuclear teams have different unit compositions and missions. The South Korean teams include Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) personnel from the ROK Army, ROK Navy and ROK Air Force who are part of the joint ROK CBRN Defense Command while the U.S. Army Nuclear Disablement Team has the unique on order mission of disablement.

An Afghanistan veteran from Granada Hills, California, Alcaide earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cal State Northridge and a master’s degree in information operations from the Naval Postgraduate School. He said his passion for math and science led him to become a U.S. Army Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction officer (FA 52).

Following his tour at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based Nuclear Disablement Team 3, Alcaide will report to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he will earn his PhD in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

As frontline warriors who directly contribute to the nation’s strategic deterrence, U.S. Army Nuclear Disablement Teams exploit and disable nuclear and radiological Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) infrastructure and components to deny near-term capability to adversaries and they facilitate follow-on WMD elimination operations.

Nuclear Disablement Team members also serve with U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE) Response Teams in the interagency National Technical Nuclear Forensics Ground Collection Task Force on a rotational basis.

Part of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Army’s Nuclear Disablement Teams — the NDT 1 “Manhattan,” NDT 2 “Iron Maiden” and NDT 3 “Vandals” — are all stationed on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

From 19 bases in 16 states, American Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.

In addition to the three Nuclear Disablement Teams, the one-of-a-kind 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the U.S. Army’s active-duty Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity and five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams.

Alcaide said NDT-NCT Partnership VIII gave them the opportunity to train together on the Korean Peninsula.

“The NDTs and NCTs were able to plan and execute missions together and work hand-in-hand in areas that allow us to communicate effectively between each other and our Soldiers downrange,” said Alcaide. “This is a giant leap from the previous partnership events. In addition, both teams formed special bonds and friendship that each team member will cherish for the rest of their lives.”

Alcaide said the exercise made both teams stronger and contributed to the readiness of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, which will mark its 70th anniversary this year.

“As an ally and partner over several decades now, it is important we continue to strengthen our relationship with the ROK NCTs and improve our ability to operate together in the same mission space,” said Alcaide. “This goes with our motto of Katchi Kapshida or We Go Together!”


Like Us
Follow Us



CNO Hosts Full-Honors Welcoming Ceremony for Singapore’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. Aaron Beng
Singapore’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. Aaron Beng receives a full-honors welcoming ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, May 25. Beng, who earlier this month became the first naval officer to lead Singapore’s armed forces, reaffirmed with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday the enduring U.S.-Singapore bilateral defense relationship during his visit to Washington. (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael B. Zingaro)
May 26, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted Singapore’s Chief of Defense Rear Adm. Aaron Beng in Washington, D.C., for a full-honors welcoming ceremony, May 25.At the ceremony, CNO presented Beng with a...

Vietnam Vets Honored during 50th Anniversary Celebration
Visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. walk the length of the wall March 11 and observe the more than 58,000 names engraved on the wall. The memorial is the most visited memorial on the Washington, D.C. Mall with more than 5 million visitors every year. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Sarah Sangster, Army News Service)
May 26, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- The Vietnam War Commemoration hosted Welcome Home, a three-day event in Washington, D.C. on May 11-13 to celebrate 50 years since the last Soldier, Master Sgt. Max Beilke, left Vietnam, and to honor Vietnam...

Washington Guard Prepares for Hanuman Guardian 23
Vehicles from 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment, Washington National Guard, sit in the loading bay of a cargo ship as it is being loaded for travel to the Kingdom of Thailand prior to Hanuman Guardian 23 on May 23, 2023, at the Port of Tacoma, Wash. (Joseph Siemandel)
May 26, 2023 - TACOMA, Wash. -- This summer, more than 500 Washington National Guard members will take part in Hanuman Guardian 23, an annual, bilateral exercise hosted by the Royal Thai Army at the Cavalry Center in Saraburi, Thailand...

PACAF RQ-4 Global Hawks Arrive at Yokota Air Base
An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, sits on the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 2, 2023. U.S. Pacific Air Forces began positioning RQ-4 Global Hawks at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on May 15 to provide theater-wide enduring operations in support of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S, Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)
May 25, 2023 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Pacific Air Forces began positioning RQ-4 Global Hawks at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on May 15 to provide theater-wide enduring operations in support of...

U.S. Partnership with U.K., Australia Enhances Security
U.S. Marines with 3d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Ground Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin 22, establish defensive positions as MV-22 Ospreys approach for landing during an airfield seizure event as part of exercise Koolendong 22 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Curtin, WA, Australia, July 18, 2022. Exercise Koolendong 22 is a combined and joint force exercise focused on expeditionary advanced base operations conducted by U.S. Marines, U.S. Soldiers, U.S. Airmen, and Australian Defence Force personnel. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cedar Barnes)
May 25, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- In September 2021, the U.S., Australia and the U.K. announced a new partnership, AUKUS, meant to strengthen alliances and security, especially in the Indo-Pacific. In March, plans for moving forward on the first...