1st MAW holds CBRN exercise
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa -- A platoon of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing conducted CBRN assessment and consequence management training at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Aug. 31.
The 1st MAW CBRN defense platoon was tasked to coordinate a III Marine Expeditionary Force Marine Air-Ground Task Force CBRN training exercise, which integrated the efforts of CBRN Marines within 1st MAW, 3rd Marine Logistics Group and 3rd Marine Division.
The exercise was based on a weaponized nerve-attack scenario, which allowed Marines to carry out all the standard procedures for a biological attack while focusing on the rescue and evacuation of those affected.
Some of the procedures for a CBRN attack include detection, sampling, identification and neutralization of hazardous materials and chemicals, extraction of contaminated personnel, technical and mass decontamination, and sensitive site exploitation.
"We are conducting a CBRN exercise based around trying to defend against a terrorist attack," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Gregory M. Clemenson, the CBRN operations chief for III MEF. "In this mock attack, we have used a simulated nerve agent."
The scenario began with Marines scanning the perimeter of the attack. As they worked their way around the area, they came across two Marines who had been affected. The focus then shifted to safely evacuating the Marines.
"Training on this scale brings (the many facets of our expertise) all together, especially for the junior Marines," said Clemenson. "They get to realize how big an attack of this nature can be and what an impact something like this could have. We need these exercises as learning tools."
The CBRN exercise provided the Marines with excellent, critical training which tested them both physically and mentally. The Marines were able to come together and carry out operations in the scenario, according to James V. Altman, the CBRN protection officer for MCAS Futenma.
"I'm very pleased with what I saw today," said Altman. "Training opportunities like this are (necessary), and the Marines performed flawlessly."