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Archive for the ‘CBRNE’ Category

Army Units Train for Nuclear Forensics Mission During Exercise Prominent Hunt

Saturday, April 16th, 2022

BETHANY BEACH, Del. — Highly specialized American Army units from the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier all hazards command trained for interagency nuclear forensics missions during Exercise Prominent Hunt at Bethany Beach, Delaware, April 4-7.

The 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command’s Nuclear Disablement Team 2 and 3rd CBRNE Response Team qualified to serve as a part of the National Technical Nuclear Forensics Ground Collection Task Force at the conclusion of Prominent Hunt.

NTNF members who have recently served on prepare-to-deploy orders for the task force — including members of NDT 3, 2nd CRT from the 46th Chemical Company, Army Public Health Center and AFTAC — served as observers and controllers during the exercise.

Soldiers from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington-based 3rd CBRNE Response Team, 9th Chemical Company, trained for their NTNF mission of collecting ground samples through crawl, walk and run phases.

“Prominent Hunt promotes tactical and operational readiness to react in a nuclear emergency to meet the Army’s current demands,” said 1st Lt. Samantha K. Roberson, the team leader for CRT 3. “This mission specifically gives our Soldiers a further understanding on the radiation and nuclear portion of our mission-essential tasks. These lessons they can internalize and apply to future missions and carry on to their future Soldiers.”

According to Roberson, CRTs have to stay ready for all four weapons of mass destruction threats: chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear.

“This task force gives us a rare opportunity to exercise our radiological and nuclear capabilities. In this particular mission, we stress our ground sampling and escort tasks alongside the FBI and Department of Energy to create a joint task force,” said Roberson.

A former enlisted Soldier from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Roberson was commissioned into the U.S. Army Chemical Corps in August 2019 after earning a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Toxicity from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana.

“I felt drawn to the Chemical Corps as it naturally pairs with my degree,” said Roberson. “The Chemical Corps has provided me with the opportunity to learn more of what I’m passionate about, while protecting my fellow Soldiers from any CBRN threats.”

NDTs directly contribute to the nation’s strategic deterrence by staying ready to exploit and disable nuclear and radiological WMD infrastructure and components to deny near-term capability to adversaries. They also facilitate follow-on WMD elimination operations.

As the U.S. Department of Defense’s nuclear subject matter experts, Nuclear Disablement Teams serve as an informed interface between the CBRNE Response Team and the Department of Energy technical experts. The U.S. Army’s three Nuclear Disablement Teams — NDT 1 “Manhattan,” NDT 2 “Iron Maiden” and NDT 3 “Vandals” — are all stationed on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Maj. Stacey M. Yarborough, the deputy team leader for the Nuclear Disablement 3, served as an observer during the exercise.

“The NDTs are the DoD component lead,” said Yarborough. “We exercise mission command over elements from a CBRNE Reconnaissance Team, the Air Force Technical Applications Center and augmentations from the 20th CBRNE Headquarters.”

Yarborough said NDTs plan and battle track ground collection missions through a variety of Department of Defense communication systems.

“Our Medical Science Officer and Health Physics Technician noncommissioned officers monitor all members of the ground collection team for radiation exposure forward of the DoE hotline,” said Yarborough, a Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction officer from Felton, Delaware.

Lt. Col. Ronald C. Lenker, the team leader for NDT 2, served as the task force leader during exercise, a role usually reserved for an FBI Special Agent.

“The Ground Collection Task Force is led by the FBI as the task force leader and the Department of Energy also provides a deputy task force leader,” said Lenker. “In this particular scenario, no FBI agent was available, so I’m the acting task force leader for this exercise.”

An 18-year Army veteran from Wiconisco, Pennsylvania, who has deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, Lenker has participated in Exercise Prominent Hunt six times, including three exercises as a player and three as an observer and controller.

“Prominent Hunt is extremely important to the NTNF GCTF,” said Lenker. “This exercise demonstrates several agencies from the federal government can come together, swiftly form a cohesive task force and accomplish the mission In this case, attribution for the detonation of a terrorist initiated improvised nuclear device.”

Lenker said the task force came together to navigate around obstacles during the exercise. When one system went down, the operations team used a joint mapping tool in Humvee to track the plume of a simulated detonation.

“The highlight for me is seeing my Soldier and Airman teammates overcoming challenges as they arise,” said Lenker. “It’s this type of problem solving skills that set our military personnel apart from any other military in the world in my opinion.”

Story by Walter Ham

Photos by Marshall R Mason


As a part of an interagency task force lead by the FBI, the National Technical Nuclear Forensics Ground Collection Task Force gathers and packages samples of radioactive fallout that enable partner agencies to determine the source.

Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the U.S. Army’s active-duty explosive ordnance disposal technicians and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams and three Nuclear Disablement Teams.

From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command deploy to confront and defeat the world’s most dangerous hazards during joint, interagency and allied operations around the world.

Revision Military Partners with Airboss Defense Group to Provide LazrBloc Visors for Low Burden Mask

Monday, September 27th, 2021

Revision Military has been partnered with Airboss Defense Group (ADG) to manufacture the clear inserts and multiple outsert tints for the ADG Low Burden Mask (LBM) for the past several years.

ADG LBM with Revision LazrBloc FT-AB and GI-AB laser protective visors on display at Revision’s DSEi booth.

In response to global events, Revision adapted several of their proprietary LazrBloc® formulations to LBM outserts – allowing users to quickly don laser protection while wearing their LBM. LazrBloc visors encompass a suite of unique laser protective lenses, specially developed for precise laser eye defense against a variety of light energy wavelengths, including harmful and invisible near-infrared energy.

The LBM laser visors are available in two sizes – Medium/Large and Large/Extra Large, and in two LazrBloc Formulations – FT-AB and GI-AB.

Product will be available soon – contact [email protected] to inquire.

Avon Protection Recognise Partnership with NSPA at DSEI

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Paul Hammond, Chief of Staff at NSPA met Avon Protection at DSEI following their first successful year of delivery against the 10-year contract to supply a complete CBRN personal respirator system.

Understanding the operational flexibility required by NATO forces, Avon Protection were awarded a 10-year contract to provide a unique modular respirator system to protect NATO troops. The FM50 respirator and a suite of filters are at the core of the personal respirator system selected by NSPA.

The FM50 is designed to protect troops in the most demanding of environments. Developed in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense to counter the multiple CBRN threats met in modern war fighting, anti-terrorist and peace-keeping operations, the FM50 provides the operational flexibility and interoperability required by NATO Allies and Partner forces.

The FM50 is the most operationally proven and widely deployed battlefield respirator in the world. Many NATO Nations and Partners including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway and more recently Lithuania have already utilised the framework contract to equip their military personnel with the FM50.

Commenting on the visit, Steve Elwell, Vice President – Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, Avon Protection said, “Today we celebrate the successful ongoing partnership between NSPA and Avon Protection. NSPA is a strategically important customer to us, and we look forward to continuing to work together to provide NATO with world leading military capabilities.”

5th SFG(A) Chemical Recon Det Conducts Sensitive Site Exploitation Training

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

The Special Forces Chemical Recon Detachments are entirely under appreciated.

Soldiers from the 56th Chemical Reconnaissance Detachment (CRD), 4th Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), conduct sensitive site exploitation training during their 1st Special Forces Command validation exercise in Dugway, Utah, from Aug. 2, 2021 to Aug. 13, 2021. The exercise evaluates each CRD’s technical and tactical skillsets in order to deploy in a combat environment. (U.S. Army photos by SSG Frances Ariele Tejada.)

Soldiers, Marines Test New Chemical, Biological Systems at Dugway APG

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah — Soldiers from Fort Drum and Joint Base Lewis-McChord teamed with Marines from Camp Pendleton to test new tactical biological detection and chemical contamination indicator systems here.

Soldiers with the 59th Hazard Response Company and 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion along with Marines from the 3rd Marine Air Wing went hands-on with the Joint Biological Tactical Detection System (JBTDS) and the Contamination Indication Disclosure Assurance System (CIDAS), which indicates on chemical agent contaminants so decontamination can take place.

“These two operational tests have given my company the opportunity to focus on our critical war-time collective tasks of site assessment and decontamination and refine our tactics, techniques, and procedures,” said Capt. Ryan Oatman, company commander of 59th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Hazard Response Company.

“The training benefit while conducting these operational tests to my unit’s operational readiness makes this tasking to support new materiel development a win-win.”

According to Test Officer Mr. Josh Smith of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Maneuver Support and Sustainment Test Directorate, test data collected will be used to inform senior Army and Joint Service leaders on how effective, suitable, and reliable the JBTDS and CIDAS systems will be during real-world operations.

“Working with a test unit that is excited about and embraces the opportunity to train its Soldiers while providing valuable feedback on potentially new CBRN materiel solutions with considerations for its employment makes the hard work of operational testing worth it,” Smith said.

Smith explained the units will have employed the JBTDS and CIDAS systems during replicated security and sustainment operations through multiple days of tough, realistic training in the harsh Dugway Proving Ground environment.

“Since operational testing is about Soldiers and unit missions,” he said, “this test event is about making sure the systems developed are — and remain effective — in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which Soldiers and units train and fight.”

By Mr. Edward M. Jagodzinski, Test Officer, Maneuver Support and Sustainment Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command

Uniform Integrated Protective Ensemble Air 2 Piece Under Garment Completes Testing at Dyess AFB

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021


A joint military test team recently conducted ongoing developmental and operational testing of the Uniform Integrated Protective Ensemble Air 2 Piece Under Garment at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

UIPE Air 2PUG is a two-piece carbon-based protective undergarment designed to be worn underneath the CWU-27/P flight suit and is intended to provide chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection to aircrews in toxic environments.

The test team was made up of members from the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center’s Detachment 2 and the 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Eglin AFB, Florida, the Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Agile Combat Support Directorate Human Systems Division.

The new system is intended to offer better mobility, breathability, and a lower thermal burden on aircrews. UIPE Air 2PUG allows aircrews to stay in the suit longer and do their jobs with less heat burden or chances of heat casualties.

During this phase of testing, the UIPE Air 2PUG was tested on C-130J Super Hercules aircrews from the 39th and 40th Airlift Squadrons that are part of the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess AFB. The aircrew simulated aircraft preflight checks and conducted a ground egress in order to field test the new UIPE Air 2PUG garment. The test event also focused upon the garment’s interoperability and compatibility with current equipment.

“The joint ground test provided critical feedback from the user to the engineering and testing team,” said Lt. Col. Brent Gaylord, 317th Operational Support Squadron commander. “The 317th Airlift Wing utilized a full aircrew complement to include female aircrew members representative of our diverse crew force and ensuring all ergonomic factors are considered. Updating decade’s old equipment is an exciting process to be a part of and is critical to maintaining our qualitative advantage over global competitors as we continually pursue full spectrum readiness.”

“This was the final ground compatibility test event,” said Tech. Sgt. Bryce Gardner, AFOTEC Det. 2 Aircrew Flight Equipment Program manager. “Previous test events were conducted with the KC-135 (Stratotanker) at McConnell AFB, Kansas; the HH-60 (Pave Hawk) at Nellis AFB, Nevada; and the F-15 (Eagle) at Eglin AFB. Multi-Service Operational Test and Evaluation will occur in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022.

“This test event went very well and the test team gathered all the required data because of the outstanding support received from the Dyess Aircrew Flight Equipment team and the participating C-130 aircrew,” Gardner said.

Once testing is completed and UIPE Air 2PUG is approved, it will be fielded to all Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army aircrews across fixed wing, rotary wing, ejection seat and large frame aircrafts.

AFOTEC’s mission is to inform the warfighter and acquisition through operational tests. AFOTEC evaluates the capability of systems to meet warfighter needs by planning, executing, and reporting independent operational assessments, tests, and evaluations. From concept development to system fielding, AFOTEC evaluates a system’s overall operational mission capability under realistic conditions. AFOTEC’s mission requires lock-step efforts with acquisition partners focused on shortening the combat capability delivery timeline.

By Katherine C. Gandara, Public Affairs Advisor, Headquarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center

5th SOS Tests New Aircrew Protective Mask for C-130 Enterprise

Friday, June 4th, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — The 5th Special Operations Squadron demonstrated the unique capabilities of the unit while testing a new protective mask for the 53rd Wing. 

The squadron tested the Joint Service Aircrew Mask for Strategic Aircraft, which is slated to replace the current Aircrew Eye and Respiratory Protection System equipment. The equipment protects aircrew against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threats in the air.

The 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron, which falls under the 53rd WG at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is responsible for testing new equipment in electronic warfare, armaments and avionics, chemical defense, reconnaissance, and aircrew training devices. They selected the 5th SOS to assist in testing the mask.

“The 5th SOS is perfect for the test because we’re all instructors and evaluators with thousands of flight and combat hours,” said Maj. Justin Eulberg, 5th SOS AC-130J Ghostrider evaluator and pilot. “It was very natural for the 5th to take on that role and apply our experience to the ergonomics of this equipment.”

Eulberg was one of the pilots flying during the JSAM SA tests.

The 28th TES needed a dynamic environment with many moving components to test the practicality of the new system. The 5th SOS operates AC-130J Ghostriders, which offer a diverse culmination of specialties all happening within a limited space, creating the ideal testing environment for the new system.

“We’ll have gunners in the back moving around loading ammo, sensor operators talking over radios and pilots flying, so the work load is heavier [than a standard airframe,]” said Eulberg. “In their own terms, [the 28th TES] wanted to test it on one of the most difficult airframes last.”

JSAM SAs are more comfortable and designed to include a helmet and hood in the event of a CBRNE threat, according to aircrew who conducted the assessment. The dual helmet-mask design is also capable of supporting communications equipment, doesn’t fog up as easily as the AERPS and doesn’t require a second blower to provide oxygen.

“I’m 100 percent for this new system, I think it could potentially save lives downrange” said Master Sgt. Justin Spurling, 28th TES aircrew flight equipment manager. “The updated technology will keep our aircrew safe in a CBRNE environment and is much easier to maintain.”

Spurling assessed and routed the results of the test to Air Combat Command for further evaluation.

The 5th SOS was the last squadron to test the JSAM SA before C-130 platforms across the U.S. Air Force could field the system. The tests yielded positive results, rating higher than the AERPS in a range of topics from hypoxia prevention to ease of respiration.

“We have our fingers in a lot of different pies, not just training at the school house,” said Eulberg. “We also conduct tests and augment our active duty counterparts. Our participation in the test changed the future of how we protect aircrew against CBRNE threats.”

The tests lasted eight days and required aircrew to evaluate the effectiveness of the mask in a variety of scenarios. 

“These tests play an important role in the larger modernization of the Air Force,” said Spurling. 

Reserve instructors and evaluators have conducted similar tests in the past on new equipment and processes that fall under United States Special Operations Command priorities such as crew workload tests.

“The 5th SOS is in a unique position because of how diverse the expertise is within the squadron,” said Eulberg. “We offer a unique melting pot of experience, there’s just not another squadron like it in the Gunship community.”

To see more examples of how the 5th SOS and other squadrons throughout the 919th Special Operations Wing continue to leverage technology and innovation, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

By SrA Dylan Gentile, 919th Special Operations Wing

Socks for Chem/Bio Environments Featuring GORE CHEMPAK Selectively Permeable Fabric

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

WL Gore & Assoc offer a an Advanced Chemical/Biological Sock made with GORE CHEMPAK Selectively Permeable Fabric.

These breathable socks are designed to be worn under standard combat boots, offering protection against a broad range of threats, including Chemical Warfare Agents, Toxic Industrial Chemicals, and Biological hazards. By allowing the operator to wear standard boots, there’s no loss of traction or mobility due to clunky over boots.

Air impermeable and liquid-proof, the sock offers broad protection against liquid and wind driven agents in liquid, vapor, or particulate form , such as contaminated wind driven sand.

What’s more, their Multiple wash/wear capability allow them to be reused if they have not been exposed to chemicals.

Check out WL Gore & Assoc’s portfolio for the SOF Operator at