Fort Leonard Wood hosts chemical-threat response drill

Capt. Maria Frishman helps lead a chemical-threat response drill with paratroopers and a live chemical agent this week at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. | Courtesy of DVIDS
Paratroopers took part in a training exercise using a live chemical agent this week at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System news service said.

During the exercise, personnel from the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment and the 37th Brigade Engineer Battalion (BEB) launched an airborne operation into the fort using a scenario involving a live chemical agent. Soldiers were tasked with finding a weapons cache that was reported to be near the drop zone. Paratroopers also searched a mock chemical manufacturing warehouse located at the Incident Response Training Department (IRTD).

“We were able to conduct the brigade’s chemical and biological weapons battle drill in a dry-agent environment,” Capt. Maria Frishman, BEB commander of headquarters and headquarters company for the BEB, said. “The reconnaissance element goes into a building, confirming and denying the presence of chemical or biological weapons with the maneuver element commanding and controlling all of it, providing security and entry into the building.”

A live chemical agent, VX, was introduced in the final portion of the training exercise. VX is a nerve agent that is lethal if contact is made with the skin, and one drop is enough to kill an adult.

“We are going to codify this with a brigade standard operating procedure, hopefully with the tactics, techniques and procedures that we’ve developed and learned here so that any company in the brigade can take this SOP and jump into this mission with reconnaissance teams with minimal planning and minimal rehearsal,” Frishman said.

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