Artillery unit conducts its CBRN training at Camp Casey bowling center
November 23, 2006
CAMP CASEY, South Korea — If Armageddon comes, the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery may be the odds-on favorite to claim its local bowling league trophy.
On Tuesday, the unit used free hours it had earned at the Camp Casey Bowling Center to conduct its required annual four hours of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN training, known until recently in the Army as NBC training.
The bowling center designates a “unit of the month” to reward frequent use of the facility. Usually, the winning unit uses its four free hours for a social function.
Spending training time in the bowling area was a lot more entertaining for the soldiers than spending it someplace like the motor pool, said battalion chemical officer 2nd Lt. Bernard Calibuso.
And while the bowling helped make the training more attractive, the training in turn may have helped the bowling: The CBRN gear also had the effect of tuning out the peripheral distractions that throw some bowlers off, soldiers said.
While not bowling, soldiers rotated through several 11-minute classes taught by other soldiers. They included looking for exposure symptoms, marking contaminated areas, reacting to nuclear hazards, vapor agent detection and application of special tape that shows contamination.
Pvt. Thomas Fields, teaching a class for the first time, showed soldiers how to respond to a nuclear attack outside the blast radius.
“Many people think all they can do is pray … but that’s not true,” Fields said.
The only praying going on Tuesday seemed to be on the hardwood.
Even in chemical masks and mission-oriented protective posture suits, a few soldiers were seen craning their bodies as if they could influence the direction of the ball’s impact.
The improvised MOPP-gear dances may have worked for some, but others said their scores weren’t quite up to their usual performances. Could it be the gear?
“Nah, the floor is slippery,” said Delta Company’s Spc. Anthony Williams, whose 130 average took a beating Tuesday.