Soldiers from various units participated in the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense course Feb. 4 to 15, held by the Fayetteville Technical Community College, Soldier Development Center.

The class of 12 students, consisting of officers and enlisted Soldiers, learned critical tasks in CBRN operations in an intense, two-week course that prepared them for assignments as unit level subject matter experts in CBRN operations.

“It is important for unit commanders to send Soldiers working in the CBRN field to this course,” said David Gardner, CBRN technical instructor, FTCC. “It allows commanders to receive proper briefs on their units CBRN readiness and stabilization to ensure they are readily deployable,” he added.

The first week of training is conducted in the classroom where Soldiers learn the different aspects of the CBRN environment.  Soldiers learn about the Army’s history and how CBRN operations have evolved, as well as about the latest equipment and CBRN reporting methods.

During this first week of training Soldiers also train outside the classroom and become familiar with the different levels of mission-oriented protective posture, a procedure used in the Army which advises commanders on what protective outer garments their unit should wear in case of a CBRN attack.

“In the past, there were four levels of MOPP gear most people were aware of, but there are now seven different levels,” said Gardner. “MOPP Ready, MOPP Zero, MOPP Two, MOPP Three, MOPP Four, and MASK-Only.”

Students also learn the proper procedures for fitting other Soldiers in their unit with the joint service lightweight integrated suit technology, a two-piece over garment, consisting of a coat with a hood and separate trousers. The JSLIST is used in conjunction with the chemical protective mask to provide Soldiers with full body protection in the event of a CBRN attack or other type of fallout.

During the second week of the course Soldiers are trained on various CBRN reporting procedures and CBRN room operations.  Students are taught how to properly plot various CBRN attacks on a map and how to properly brief their commanders on incidents in the field.

“It’s important for commanders to send Soldiers to this course in order to receive proper briefs on their units CBRN readiness and stabilization to ensure they are readily deployable to an affected environment,” said Gardner.

A Soldier does not have to hold the military occupational specialty of 74D CBRN specialist in order to attend this course. Any commander who has a Soldier assigned as a unit CBRN operator, can elect to send their Soldier.  This in turn will help commanders have qualified operators in their CBRN rooms, especially for inspections.

“I came to this course because my unit was notified during our inspection that we needed a CBRN officer in charge,” said 1st Lt. Ted Kenyon, CBRN officer in charge, 1st Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. “It’s been a very beneficial course, very interesting to see different chemical equipment used to detect hazards and the reports that are used to send to our higher headquarters,” he added.

Leaders are encouraged to send their CBRN personnel to the two-week course held at the Soldier Development Center by contacting their S-3 schools noncommissioned officer. The seating is currently limited to 20 students per class.