Crestview instructor: Troops prepared in case of chemical contamination

CBRN battalion Joshua Thornton

At left, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Thornton, of Crestview, chemical noncommissioned officer, removes his chemical gear after conducting decontamination training last month at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. He is a member of the 204th Brigade Support Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Armored Brigade, Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. At right is the patch worn by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear soldiers, who provided the training.

ANDREW PORCH, U.S. ARMY / Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 at 04:00 PM.

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — As temperatures rise in the Middle East, soldiers are now training with water.

But no one is cooling down, as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, training are priorities for the 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Soldiers of 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd ABCT certified “Roughrider” soldiers last month in the areas of operational decontamination and chemical gear.

“The main focus is to bring some type of positive informational awareness about CBRN to the units,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Thorton, a Crestview native, an instructor and the battalion's noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “Being the CBRN representative for company and battalion level, you have to make training relevant and you have to make people aware of the type of threats that are out there.”

Soldiers received two days' training to ensure they could conduct organized decontamination if the primary team is unavailable.

Most soldiers who participated in the training haven’t touched CBRN equipment since basic training.

But they sure learned something during last month's refresher.

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