Photo Information

Private First Class Justin Morris, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 nuclear, biological and chemical defense specialist, wears the new Joint Service General Purpose Mask aboard the Air Station, Jan. 13. Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Marines are now issued the new masks to keep Marines current on sustainment training.

Photo by Cpl. Timothy Norris

CBRN reinvents unit team training

1 Nov 2013 | Cpl. Brady Wood

The Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear Training Facility aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort passed a new order requiring 30 Marines from each squadron to be trained on CBRN control, Oct. 1.
Originally the training required 10-25 percent of a squadron’s total manpower, but by training only 30 Marines for each squadron it becomes more regulated and we are able to teach them everything that we need to, said Sgt. Jonathan Betschart, a Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 CBRN specialist. According to Marine Aircraft Group 31 Standard Operating Procedures, the primary objective for the training is to develop the skills and proficiency necessary to survive a CBRN attack, sustain operations and accomplish the mission. “This integration is intended to develop and test the ability of Marines and sailors at all levels to survive a CBRN attack,” said Betschart. “It also teaches them how to perform subsequent missions under CBRN conditions and utilize proper warning and reporting procedures.”
The CBRN control will conduct MOPP familiarization training twice a year.
“The MOPP-FT familiarizes an individual with the physical limitations of protective clothing and the inherent heatstress this environment places on each individual,” said Betschart. “The MOPP-FT consists of personnel spending a minimum of eight consecutive hours in MOPP levels set by the unit commander while either conducting or continuing normal operation.”
According to the order GruO P3400.4M, the training of the designated unit survey teams will include basic lectures and practical application.
The CBRN survey teams will also learn how to go to any environment and effectively communicate back to the commander the layout of their surroundings.
“I am giving them scenarios such as a bomb blowing up and I am asking them how would you communicate the area,” said Betschart. “This will tell me how they would let their commanders know what is good to go and what isn’t.”
To help Marines with this task, Betschart has come up with what he calls the clock-drill.
“The clock drill is where 12 o’clock is always to their front,” said Betschart. “How they communicate is by saying over the radio stuff like ‘there is a door x amount of meters to my three.’
“Now if the enter that door, they are back at 12 o’clock and now to their three is no longer the door they previously mentioned, now it’s a wall. They would use this to the best of their ability to more or less show the command what they are dealing with.”
The CBRN objectives are to first, maintain the lowest and least debilitating protective posture without incurring unacceptable risk. The second objective is to warn individuals of hazards so they may take protective action prior to becoming casualties and the final objective is to provide information to commanders so they can visualize CBRN effects on the battlespace and focus assets for efficient, proactive CBRN operations.