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CBRN Soldiers train with JBLM's 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div.

20th Support Command (CBRNE)

Published: 04:24PM June 26th, 2014

During Exercise Atropian Phoenix, specialized U.S. Army units are working to keep the world’s most dangerous weapons out of circulation.

American Soldiers from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command and the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, trained last week at this Mojave Desert post in California to ensure the U.S. Army remains ready to conduct decisive action operations across the full hazard CBRNE spectrum.

The exercise integrates 20th CBRNE Command Soldiers with ground combat units from the 2nd Bde. “Lancers” from JBLM.

The 20th CBRNE deputy commander, Col. Kyle Nordmeyer, said Atropian Phoenix enables the units to tackle a variety of conventional, irregular and hybrid threats and to locate, identify and eliminate enemy threat systems, including explosive and unconventional improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction.

The exercise encompasses three locations across the nation: the 20th CBRNE Command Operational Command Post on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; the 48th Chemical Brigade Headquarters on Fort Hood, Texas; and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

According to 20th CBRNE Command chief of staff, Col. Richard A. Schueneman, the exercise gives the Department of Defense’s only dedicated CBRNE command the assurance it has the right capabilities in the right places.

“We are evaluating the capabilities of a CBRNE Battalion Task Force to determine if we have the right personnel and equipment to support a land force commander’s CBRNE hazards mission requirements which include countering WMD, IED and conventional threats during this rotation,” Schueneman said.

As the Army’s sole formation tasked with combating Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive threats, the 20th CBRNE Command not only trains to support U.S. military operations around the globe, but also works with U.S. government agencies to defend the homeland against CBRNE threats.