Army Chemical Review


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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 47

23 Summer 2015 By Mr. Peter G. Schulze O ver the past few years, a growing number of people have questioned the continued integration of hazmat certifcation requirements into chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) professional military edu- cation and functional courses at the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School (USACBRNS). After all, they say, we aren't required to comply with hazmat or Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules when we deploy and are tactically engaged in CBRN operations overseas! Formal hazmat training (along with its associated testing requirements and certifcation) continues to be one of the most misunderstood and controversial blocks of instruction offered at USACBRNS. So . . . why do we con- tinue to require hazmat training as a prerequisite or as a testable block of instruction for many of our courses? According to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Com- mand (TRADOC) Pamphlet (Pam) 525-3-1, The U.S. Operating Concept: Win in , military operations in complex environments require com- petent leaders and cohesive teams that thrive in conditions of uncertainty. 1 It isn't diffcult for most CBRN specialists to imagine how CBRN threats and hazards can create con- ditions of uncertainty today and into the future. However, not long ago, our focus and training centered on a known set of nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) threats. Many former USACBRNS commandants realized that this nar- row focus limited our understanding of modern operating environments at home and abroad. Brigadier General Stan- ley H. Lillie was the frst commandant to develop training and education initiatives to broaden student understanding of what was becoming a wider and ever more complicated threat environment. Shortly thereafter, then Brigadier General Thomas W. Spoehr formally expanded the descrip- tion of CBRN threats and hazards (see Table 1, page 24). He also recognized that the expanded description required a new way of thinking about the threat and how we equip, operate, train, and educate the Chemical Regiment. Conse- quently, the requirement to operate in and around the full spectrum of CBRN threats and hazards has been introduced, reinforced, or considered in every doctrinal, organizational, training, materiel, leadership development, and personnel solution since 2005. Lessons learned from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan validated this new and expanded view of battlefeld threats and hazards. CBRN operations that mitigated and limited insurgent access to nitric acid, other industrial chemicals and material, and radiological material supported the need for an expanded equipment set and an institutional curricu- lum capable of preparing CBRN Soldiers to deal with a wid- er threat spectrum. In Iraq, the terrorist use of improvised explosive devices and devices containing chlorine further reinforced and validated the need to operate in and around the full spectrum of CBRN threats and hazards. The spec- trum of CBRN threats and hazards in the U.S. Army Cen- tral Command theater required a complete review of how we prepare CBRN specialists for current and future operations. Hazmat training was introduced as a formal block of in- struction in 2006 and expanded to select professional mili- tary education and functional courses during fscal year 2007. The course material was initially very frefghter- centric—similar to courses at the Department of Defense (DOD) Fire Academy. However, the content evolved over the years to focus on the specifc skills that CBRN special- ists need to operate in areas with unknown hazards at home and abroad. 2 The formal block of instruction, which is loosely referred to as , was never really about certifcation; rather, it was always part of the training and education so- lution that helped enable our Soldiers and leaders anticipate threats and safely operate in the complexities of any CBRN environment. But we have lost sight of the original intent of the hazmat block of instruction—to the point that some in- dividuals have come to view it as a separate entity outside of the tactical role of the Chemical Corps. This is a view that is inconsistent with our evolving doctrine, organization, equip- ment, and missions. It is also out of line with the diversity of CBRN hazards and emerging threats that our forces may encounter throughout the world. Hazmat training, educa- tion, and associated experiences are integral to CBRN spe- cialists—no matter where the mission takes place. TRADOC Pam 525-3-1 indicates that the potential for increasing the complexity of future and man-made catastrophes can be attributed to a number of factors, in- cluding an increasingly global environment, advancing

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Army Chemical Review - SUMMER 2015