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NEWS | Nov. 3, 2023

US Army 20th CBRNE Command hosts ROK CBRN Defense Command at headquarters

By Walter Ham, 20th CBRNE Command

American and South Korean military leaders forged even stronger bonds during the 70th anniversary of the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance, Nov. 1.

The U.S. Army’s 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command hosted a tabletop exercise with the Republic of Korea Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Command.

Called Liberty Shield, the exercise was held at the 20th CBRNE Command Headquarters on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The exercise has been held annually for years including virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one-of-a-kind U.S. Army CBRNE command is headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, in northeast Maryland’s science, technology and security corridor.

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

Supporting military operations and domestic authorities, American Soldiers and Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to confront and defeat the world’s most dangerous hazards.

Established in 2002, the ROK CBRN Defense Command incorporates personnel from all branches of the South Korean Armed Forces.

Units and personnel from the 20th CBRNE Command and the ROK CBRN Defense Command routinely train together in both the U.S. and South Korea. Among recent events, the ROK CBRN Defense Command hosted the 1st Area Medical Laboratory and members of the 20th CBRNE Command’s Nuclear Disablement Teams trained with their ROK Nuclear Characterization Team counterparts to improve interoperability.

From annual peninsula-wide exercises in South Korea to field training exercises at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California, the 20th CBRNE Command and ROK CBRN Defense Command have forged an enduring partnership, much like the alliance they support.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Daryl O. Hood, the commanding general for 20th CBRNE Command, met with his counterpart, ROK Army Brig. Gen. Jaehoon Yoo, the commanding general of the ROK CBRN Defense Command, on Nov. 1.

Yoo said the relationship between the two highly specialized commands exemplified the fighting spirit of the alliance.

The commanding general of the 20th CBRNE Command emphasized the importance of the annual meeting to the ironclad alliance that celebrated its 70th anniversary in October.

Hood said the 20th CBRNE Command was looking forward to building even stronger bonds in the coming year.

The ROK-U.S. Alliance was officially established by the Mutual Defense Treaty that was signed on October 1, 1953.

The ROK-U.S. Alliance has provided the security on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia that enabled the meteoric rise of South Korea from the ashes of war to become one of the world’s leading economic and cultural powers.