POCHEON, South Korea –
A Soldier gently pulls a drawer open with a hook. The Soldier, fully adorned in
nuclear, biological and chemical protective gear, checks every item in the room,
calling out "Marco," so Soldiers outside could respond with "Polo," ensuring the
individual inside is still safe and conscious.
After the whole room is
checked for explosive devices, a second Soldier enters - documents and samples
equipment for evidence of chemical and biological agents.
are meticulous, checking everything in the room. They have to be sure every
possible chemical or biological agent is documented. There is no room for
mistakes in this mission.
This is part what Soldiers from the 23rd
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive, or CBRNE, Ordnance
Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, trained on
during their month-long field training exercise, March 15 to April
Staff Sgt. Rolando Contreras, a sample team leader in the 501st
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Radiological Technical Escort
Company, or CBRNE TE, 23rd CBRNE, said this type of hands-on, high-stress
training is exactly what it takes to stay prepared for the CBRNE mission on the
Working in realistic environments forced the Soldiers
to refine how they used Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army, or KATUSA,
Soldiers for support. The KATUSAs allowed the teams to quickly identify
"One of the things that did go well was using KATUSA
support on analytics on being able to read the Hangeul anywhere allowing us to
get as much information as fast as possible," said Staff Sgt. Lucas Michael
Applewhite, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader in the 501st CBRNE TE
Company, 23rd CBRNE.
The training also helped the alliance by building
bonds and reinforcing tactics, techniques and procedures by working alongside
the Republic of Korea, or ROK, Army, 24th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or
CBR, Special Task Battalion. Soldiers in the units worked at different locations
in South Korea to include Camp Stanley, the South Korean Armed Forces CBR
Defense Command and Rodriguez Live Fire Complex.
"When we do combined
trainings with the U.S. counterparts, we usually do it at Rodriguez Live Fire
Range, Warrior Camp, and for this time, we invited U.S. Soldiers to newly
constructed CBR training facilities at the [South Korean] Armed Force CBR
Defense Command," said ROK0 Navy Chief Petty Officer You Hyeon-min, chemical
operations non-commissioned officer in Company 3, 24th CBR Special Task
Battalion. "We conduct the training together to compare differences in both
nations' doctrines; thus, our goal is to establish one procedure for the
process, so that we can apply it on our army, navy and air force."
training allowed both sides to hone their skills and learn from each
"[The ROK and U.S. Soldiers] will be looking at what each one of
us is doing, basically exchanging tactics, techniques and procedures, and then
of course at the same time this gives us the opportunity to see how the ROK
works and the ROK to see how we work," said Capt. Philip Kline, team leader in
the Chemical Response Team 2, 501st CBRN TE Company, 23rd CBRNE.
with company team certifications on CBRNE tasks, the Soldiers qualified on
individual weapons, went through medical lanes, received combat lifesaver
refreshers and trained on night drivers training