Chemical soldiers 'love' training at recent exercise
By DAVID BURGE | El Paso Times, Texas (Tribune News Service) | Published: March 12, 2017
Soldiers from Fort Bliss' 22nd Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Battalion said they gained some valuable experience during their recent training exercise and are ready for their next step.
“We are ready to go to Yakima,” Wash. for a large-scale training event in April and into May, said Spc. Brooklyn Brennan, a Stryker driver with the 44th CBRN Company (Hazardous Response).
“We are getting amazing in our ability to take on bigger missions,” said Brennan, of Destin, Fla.
Brennan said she “loved” the training the battalion recently experienced out in the vast Fort Bliss training area.
“It is really teaching me a lot of what I need to know,” she said.
The exercise included six days of situational training at the squad and platoon levels and culminated with two companies and the battalion headquarters coming together for a final mission.
On the final day, they practiced identifying mock threats and safely disposing of them. They secured a village out in the training area and then proceeded to go building by building, room by room, looking for threats and weapons of mass destruction.
“This is an opportunity to see all the expertise that comes within the battalion and build our team into a stronger one,” said 2nd Lt. Raman Botta, platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, 44th CBRN Company.
Not only did they practice their highly specialized skills as chemical soldiers, but they also practiced key tactical skills such as being able to provide their own security, said Botta, from Grand Blanc, Mich.
“If you can’t keep yourself safe in a dangerous area, what does everything else you have learned matter?” Botta asked.
Second Lt. Jessica Fields is a team leader with the 46th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Company (Technical Escort).
Fields’ team is relatively new and this was the first time it got to go out in the field together. Her team specializes in taking samples and analyzing potential threats, said Fields, from Downers Grove, Ill.
“This will make us a better team and give us a feel of what we need to do if we deploy someday,” Fields said.
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