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NEWS | April 3, 2024

US Army CBRN company assumes rotational mission near Korean Demilitarized Zone

By Walter Ham 20th CBRNE Command

A deployed U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) company has assumed the rotational U.S. Army forces mission near the world’s most heavily guarded border.

American Soldiers from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington-based 45th CBRN Company (Hazardous Response) are contributing to the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance during a rotational deployment near the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The company assumed the Korean rotational force mission from the Fort Drum, New York-based 59th CBRNE Company, Feb. 28.

During the deployment, the company is supporting the 23rd CBRN Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and Eighth Army.

The 45th CBRN Company “Phoenix” is part of the 110th CBRN Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier CBRNE formation.

American Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to confront and defeat the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and multinational operations.

U.S. Army Hazardous Response companies conduct CBRN reconnaissance, surveillance and decontamination operations with conventional and Special Operations forces around the world and provide support to civil authorities across the nation.

Capt. Michael Vane is the commander for the 45th CBRN Company and 1st Sgt. Julian Ollivierre-Brewer is the senior enlisted leader for the company.

“We bring a unique capability to detect, protect, assess and mitigate CBRN hazards through our mounted Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV) reconnaissance platoon and dismounted Hazard Assessment platoons,” said Vane.

The company has also added Korean Augmentees to U.S. Army (KATUSA) troops to the company to improve cultural understanding and technical and tactical integration and interoperability.

“We have aggressively adopted the ‘fight tonight’ mentality as an enabler within 2nd Infantry Division,” said Vane. “We conducted an emergency deployment readiness exercise (EDRE) six days after our main body flight arrived on the Korean Peninsula,” said Vane. “By successfully alerting, marshalling and executing our core mission essential tasks, we displayed our ability to ‘fight tonight’ and to be ready to answer our nations call whenever needed.”

Although he considers Santa Cruz, California, home, Vane has lived in many states while growing up as a part of an Army family. Vane’s father is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and his older brother and older sister are both Army majors.

“The reason I joined the Army and continue to serve is directly correlated to my parent’s character and values that they instilled into our family,” said Vane. “I joined to ensure that when called upon, our service members will be ready to support and defend our Constitution and its citizens as well as win our nation’s wars.”

A prior enlisted combat engineer and Army Chemical Corps officer with 11 years of service in the Army, Vane graduated from Christopher Newport University with a biology degree.

Vane and Ollivierre-Brewer are one of the few U.S. Army Chemical Corps company command teams to have two Ranger-qualified leaders.

Originally from Oceanside, California, Ollivierre-Brewer has served in the U.S. Army for 16 years and earned his business management degree from Penn State University. Also from a military family, Ollivierre-Brewer said that he welcomed the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps.

“Growing up, each family member spoke so fondly of their service experiences, so I always wanted to contribute to our family’s military service history,” said Ollivierre-Brewer. “The thing that I enjoy most about the U.S. Army Chemical Corps is the diversity of duty assignments. It is one of the few occupational specialties that has assignment opportunities within most unit types and levels of warfare and analysis.”

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