3rd Intelligence Battalion sharpens CBRN skills
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- Marines with 3rd Intelligence Battalion completed a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense course Feb. 11-15 at Camp Hansen, increasing their ability to operate in contaminated environments.
“The course is designed to teach Marines how to react to different CBRN attacks and identify what level of mission-oriented protective posture gear is necessary,” said Lance Cpl. Nickolas A. Pasetto, an instructor for the course and CBRN specialist with 7th Communications Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
The course consisted of five days of classes and practical application training of donning gas masks and MOPP gear and reacting to mock CBRN attacks.
“There are (three) different types of attacks,” said Lance Cpl. Jasmine Gonzalez, an instructor for the course and CBRN specialist with 7th Comm. Bn. “The attacks can be spray, flash or gas.”
The Marines were trained to recognize and respond differently to each form of attack.
“It’s important to know what to do during each scenario,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony D. Marano, a geographic intelligence specialist with 3rd Intel. Bn., III MHG, III MEF. “In the situation of a spray attack, you should take cover under something, whether it be a roof or a poncho, so you are not directly exposed to the contaminant.
“In a situation where you see a flash, you should drop to the ground with your weapon underneath you, face away from the direction of the flash, and remain on the ground until the flash is over.”
Marines also learned how to distinguish which level of MOPP gear is appropriate for certain types of attacks or scenarios and the proper procedure for shifting levels of MOPP gear.
“There are different methods you can use to determine whether or not it is safe to remove your mask,” said Pasetto. “The most common method is the selective undonning method. One person is selected to remove their mask for 30 seconds and then put it back on. After closely evaluating the person to see if they feel any side effects, (the selected Marine) then removes their mask once again, this time for five minutes. If they don’t feel any effects, the rest of the Marines slowly take their mask off in intervals.”
After studying and training, the Marines completed the course well prepared for any type of CBRN attack they may encounter.
“It’s important for the Marines to really internalize the knowledge and procedures taught during the course,” said Pasetto. “What they learned could be the difference between life and death for their fellow Marines in the event a CBRN attack should occur.”