Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. --
The scenario started with Marines patrolling the area when they discovered local civilians acting strange. This was part of a three-week course to learn to detect chemical agents.
1st Marine Logistic Group’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Platoon hosted the training for 15 Marines with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Feb. 4.
This was conducted to prepare Marines for an upcoming deployment with the 11th MEU.
The participants went through a field-training exercise, which included an urban environment scenario at the 25 Area Combat Town. Role players portraying local civilians were showing symptoms of being exposed to deadly biological agents. The CBRN unit called in and figure out if there were any agents in the area and evacuate any casualties.
“This is good training,” said Lance Cpl. Denis A. Oleary, with Company A, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines. “It helps the Marines prepare to do CBRN operations, so when the 11th MEU deploys, they can deploy too.”
The mission of the Marines inspecting the area was to look for biological chemicals. Once located, they would report back if they found any threat with any information they could provide on the agent. When the agent was confirmed, it was disposed of properly.
Once the team is finished, they would return to the decontamination assembly line where they were hosed down and their gear was removed.
The Marines went through the course while wearing protective vest and Kevlar helmet. Their protective posture was level A protective suits, which is the most protective suit to use while handling deadly agents.
Patrolling the town in full gear was prescribed to make the training as realistic as possible.
“Even though the new suits are hot, it helps protect us while we are out on a mission,” said Pfc. James D. Mayo, a CBRN clerk 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment.
Throughout the exercise the Marines accomplished the tasks set before them.
“The training exercise went well,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Schleher, CBRN chief with the 11th MEU. “There are still some areas that need to be worked on.”
The course has many benefits for those who participate in it. Tasks learned can be used long after military life.
“The things I learned in this course are very helpful,” said Lance Cpl. Michael P. Norman with Company A. “I’m going to use this to become a firefighter when I get out of the Marine Corps.
After the course, the Marines received their Department of Defense certificate of hazardous material awareness which will be useful for their next deployment.