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NEWS | Feb. 11, 2015

Signal Brigade Conducts Combined Decontamination Exercise with South Korean Army

By Pfc. Byun, Jae Hyuk, 1st Signal Brigade Public Affairs Office

Soldiers of 293rd Signal Company conducted a decontamination exercise, combined with the 50th Infantry Division of Republic of Korea, or R.O.K., army, Feb. 5.

Soldiers, leaders, and South Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army gathered in full chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear explosives, also known as CBRNE, gear to go through the process of cleansing their equipment and removing contaminants such as hazardous materials, chemical agents and radioactive substances throughout the training event.

"The training has significant importance in that U.S. Soldiers can get to experience what the decontamination technique is like in the R.O.K. Army," said 1st Sgt. Keenda A. Batchelor, 293rd Signal Co. first sergeant, 36th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. "We would like for Soldiers to understand the importance of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training from the U.S. Army's perspective and as well as from the R.O.K. Army's perspective, and we can also build the partnership that we have with their host nation."

"We conduct joint exercises with the 50th Infantry Division twice a year, but in terms of CBRNE training, we conduct CBRNE-related warrior task battle drills every week during Sergeant Time Training," Batchelor said. "We are a signal unit, but other things that signal Soldiers need to understand are not just about working on communications equipment. They also need to have a strong foundation in their warrior task battle drills."

The 293rd Signal Co., 1st Sig. Brigade, worked side by side with the 50th Infantry Division through the process of decontamination, which consists of five steps including personal equipment decontamination, shower, inspection, and medication.

"I'm really proud that I'm taking part in the joint exercise between U.S. Army and R.O.K. Army," said Cpl. Kwon Yong Jae, CBRNE specialist with the 50th Infantry Division. "Through the decontamination exercise, we can get to know about U.S. Army decontamination equipment and how to operate them, and vice versa. As a member of CBRNE supporting group, it is a great opportunity for me to actually contribute to the cooperation of two units, while cleansing our equipment and uniform to remove contaminants."

After getting through the decontamination process, Pfc. Ryan E. Griffith, microwave systems operator and maintainer, 293rd Signal Co., 1st Signal Brigade, shared his thoughts about the exercise.

"Through this exercise, we can see how the decontamination equipment of the R.O.K. Army work and compare it to ours," Griffith said. "The exercise has its own significance in that it prevents Soldiers from the hazard of contaminants and unites two different units together. One of the benefits of this exercise is that we can learn things from the other side, and see what we could not have seen."

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