Army Chemical Review

SUMMER 2013

Army Chemical Review presents professional information about Chemical Corps functions related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, smoke, flame, and civil support operations.

Issue link: http://chemical.epubxp.com/i/141522

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 36 of 67

of State—established a framework with which to build a foreign nation's chemical elimination capability. The success of the program served as a guide for future Phase IV (stability) operations. CRT 1 and the Multinational Security Transition Command– Iraq concluded that the Iraqi mission-essential task list should include the following tasks: Before Iraq became a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, U.S. technical escort units were responsible for rendering-safe or destroying recovered munitions and for preventing the tampering of them. However, Iraq signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2009, thereby agreeing to relinquish its use of chemical weapons and to destroy its existing chemical stockpiles—thousands of which remained from the days of the Saddam Hussein regime. Iraq's new commitment to the destruction of existing WMD required that the WMD elimination mission fall to the Iraqi army. Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives Response Team (CRT) 1, Alpha Company, 110th Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort), 48th Chemical Brigade, trained the Iraqi Chemical Corps on WMD elimination and discovered trends that will serve the Corps as it meets its directed role in the area of WMD elimination. ● Train the Iraqis on basic chemical operations. In early 2009, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense established the frst Iraqi Chemical Defense Company (CDC), which was colocated with the new Iraqi Chemical Defense School at Camp Taji. The purpose of the CDC was to bring Iraq into full compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. In theory, establishing the CDC was easy, but there were many implementation challenges. The Iraqi Chemical Corps had not existed since the fall of Saddam Hussein; therefore, proper training was unavailable due to a decade of gaps in resources (not to a lack of knowledge among senior Iraqi chemical offcers). The reestablished Iraqi Chemical Corps consisted of the Iraqi chemical soldiers of Hussein's chemical corps (a group of battle-hardened, senior Iraqi chemical offcers with little operational experience since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990) and other chemical soldiers who had recently completed Iraqi basic training and had received no instruction beyond that of basic chemical protection. Neither of these groups of soldiers had received training on the proper elimination of chemical weapons. Mission Planning After analyzing the situation, CRT 1 determined that to reach the initial operational capability required for compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Iraqi CDC must be able to profciently conduct the following key tasks: ● Identify munitions. ● Render-safe munitions. ● Transport munitions safely. ● Destroy munitions. ● Complete Chemical Weapons Convention compliance documentation, and submit it to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Summer 2013 ● Establish a program of instruction. ● Train the Iraqis on chemical munitions elimination. ● Train the Iraqis on proper equipment maintenance. Once these objectives were met, the Iraqi CDC would reach initial operational capability. CRT 1 presented the training plan to the Iraqi CDC commander; and with his approval, U.S. Army CBRN Soldiers initiated the frst host nation training for the WMD elimination effort. For 6 months, CRT 1 trained the Iraqi CDC on chemical weapon elimination. The training of the Iraqi CDC was completed in early 2010, and partnership operations were passed to the 22d Chemical Battalion in mid-2010. The mission proved to be extremely successful—the overall CDC attendance rate was 90 percent, the average score for written tests was more than 85 percent, and the Iraqi army was instilled with the ability to eliminate the very cause of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. How was the CRT 1 operation able to succeed? The answer lies with the highly trained, skilled, and motivated Soldiers of the Chemical Corps. Lessons Learned There were several lessons learned during the CRT 1 mission to train the Iraqi Chemical Corps on WMD elimination. The lessons were not restricted to the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, the U.S. Army, or the military in general. A whole-ofgovernment approach is the appropriate scheme. However, the responsibility for training partner soldiers ultimately lies with CBRN Soldiers. ● Program of instruction. Establishing a program of instruction may sound simple, but it is actually complex. The USACBRNS played an instrumental role in the development of the curriculum, sending a contact team to Baghdad with lesson plans and working diligently to develop a training regimen. Still, U.S. doctrine does not necessarily ft well with foreign militaries. Trainers must review each document and slide to verify that the foreign military possesses the referenced equipment and is capable of using it. Nongovernmental organizations should not be relied on to assist with training. If the environment is seen as remotely dangerous (as was the case in Baghdad in 2009), nongovernmental organizations often refuse to participate. Future Phase IV trainers should focus on each aspect of the lesson plan and leverage the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCoE) for assistance. ● Translation. The most challenging aspect of training proved to be language translation. After perfecting the lesson plan in English, CRT 1 employed interpreters, who translated the slide packet to Arabic. The CRT 1 noncommissioned 35

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Army Chemical Review - SUMMER 2013