Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

SUM 2016

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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Page 7 of 35 6 | S&BP and CST & CBRNE l Summer 2016 Command Spotlight: U.S. Army 20th CBRNE From accidents to terrorist events, today's CBRNE environment is diffuse and ambiguous which is why no one local, state, or federal agency can address it alone. The 20th CBRNE Command is fully committed to partnering at all levels of government. By MAJ Ryan McDonald, 20th CBRNE A CBRNE environment is a complex environment to operate in, and as recent history has shown we no longer conduct operation conduct operations alone. One of the most complex situation complex situations to operate in is a subway system. Just imagi system. Just imagine yourself descending the stairs of the New Y stairs of the New York City Subway System through smoke an through smoke and debris after a CBRNE event. You try to c event. You try to communicate not only with the New York Fire the New York Fire Department Hazmat team right across from y right across from you but to the command posts at the entran posts at the entrance of the subway system possibly 180 feet a possibly 180 feet away through concrete. This example occurred example occurred in January 2015 when firefighters responded to an emergency in the Washington D.C. Metro which left one woman dead and 91 injured. Ventilation shafts stop working allowing for the smoke to fill the tunnels, Metro Police could not communicate with Metro to get them to move the train behind them, and firefighters could not communicate with commanders outside the station to communicate with the command posts. This event is one of the reasons why the 59th CBRN Company from Fort Drum, New York practiced a similar scenario by conducting reconnaissance sustainment training with the New York Fire Department at Pennsylvania Station in New York City to work through integration concerns. They worked out a number of issues to include communication, equipment and sustainment operations. The 59th CBRN Company was the first active duty Army CBRN unit that trained with the New York Fire Department and is symbolic of the 20th CBRNE Command's growth as an organization and the myriad of critical missions we have. Today's CBRNE environment is diffuse and ambiguous which is why no one organization can handle them alone; in fact in this interconnected world, effective prevention and response depends upon cooperation between CBRNE organizations to identify best practices and improve the relationship between each organization. That is why the 20th CBRNE Command is fully committed to working with our partners at all levels of government and across the world to ss the world to break down stove-pipes and develop a unified develop break down stove-pipes and develop a unified a unified approach to combating CBRNE threats. NE approach to combating CBRNE threats. threats. Partnership in the Homeland meland Partnership in the Homeland In the homeland we have Explosive Ordnance losive In the homeland we have Explosive Ordnance Ordnance Disposal teams performing EOD emergency OD Disposal teams performing EOD emergency emergency response missions on and off post every day. post response missions on and off post every day. every day. The 20th CBRNE Command averages 1,500 averages 1,500 EOD emergency response missions on and ssions EOD emergency response missions on and on and off military installations each year, and that year, and that number is increasing, as evidenced by the 1,700 EOD emergency responses conducted in Fiscal Year 15. Therefore it is critical we participate in exercises from the local to the federal level, because at any moment we could receive a call to respond to an unexploded ordnance in a creek where children play, in someone's chimney or even a smoke grenade found in someone's leg and the hospital will not admit them until the device is rendered safe. Since we do not know what we will find when we answer a call, we always welcome the opportunity to train with our counterparts to exchange information and increasingly build capability within our ranks. One of the largest exercises this command participates in each year is Raven's Challenge. It is the largest EOD/Public Safety Bomb Squad Training exercise in the world, bringing together bomb squad technicians from across the United States and internationally. This exercise series is critical to improving not only our nation's defense against terrorism in the homeland but more importantly sharing knowledge and enabling our first responders to continue to properly render safe the thousands of unexploded hazards found across the U.S. annually. On a small scaler, In May 2016, the 62d Ordnance Company (EOD) trained with more than 30 local, state and federal agencies at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado during an exercise testing their response capabilities. One of the challenges working with our civilian counterparts is the different equipment each organization brings to a response site. There is no standardization of technical terms between organizations and navigating the different governmental regulations and procedures each organization has to follow. This is why it remains critical for our forces to work with our interagency partners, this cooperation and interoperability needs to become second nature to all parties. If not, and we revert to our stove-pipes these challenges will only multiply and complicate an already complex situation. Also in May 2016 the 192nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD) units trained with ATTACK PREPAREDNESS THROUGH THREAT DETERRENCE Soldiers from the 59th CBRN Company conduct joint training with the New York Fire Department HAZMAT in New York City last May. (U.S. Army)

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