FORT IRWIN, Calif –
Soldiers from the Republic of Korea Army participated in Exercise Atropian Phoenix at this Mojave Desert training facility this week.
While U.S. and South Korean forces train on the Korean Peninsula year round, Atropian Phoenix brought them together at the U.S. Army's premier training range in California.
According to Lt. Col. Brant Hoskins, the commander of the 110th Chemical Battalion, the South Korean CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) Response Team (CRT) was part of his task force during the exercise.
"We integrated them into our situational training lane exercises as a part of the CBRNE Task Force, and during the force-on-force portion, they provided CRT support to a U.S. infantry battalion to exploit a WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) site," said Hoskins, a native of Albany, Oregon. "They performed extremely well throughout the rotation but their contributions on the final objective were a particular highlight."
Hoskins said this was the first team-level integrated training exercise with South Korean CBRNE units in the United States.
"(The exercise) provided the perfect venue for us to share tactics, techniques and procedures in a realistic environment," said Hoskins.
During Atropian Phoenix, American and South Korean troops trained to conduct decisive action operations in an all hazards CBRNE threat environment.
The exercise integrated the ROK Army CRT with the 20th CBRNE Command and 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
Soldiers at the 20th CBRNE Command Operational Command Post on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and the 48th Chemical Brigade Headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas, also participated in the exercise.
With specialized units on 19 military bases in 16 states, the 20th CBRNE Command is the sole U.S. Army formation tasked with combating Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive threats. To accomplish its global mission, the 20th CBRNE Command trains with allied, joint and interagency partners across the nation and around the globe.