Army preparing soldiers for rapid bioterror response

Soldiers with the New York National Guard Aviation will complete certification to combat biological threats during a special training session this week at Fort Drum in Fort Drum, N.Y.

Approximately 300 soldiers will participate in the training to prepare themselves for the newly formed Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Explosive Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF.

The training will certify three New York aviation units, including the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion from Latham and Ronkonkoma, Company B, 126th Aviation from Rochester and the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion from Rochester, Ronkonkoma and Oleans.

The mission of the CCMRF task force is to provide rapid response to assist local, state, and other federal authorities following a catastrophic event. CBRNE incidents pose a great and very real security challenge in the United States. The task forces are formed around the nucleus of an active duty army brigade combat team and specialized CBRNE units. It is capable of CBRNE detection and decontamination and can provide engineer, transportation, logistics, communication and public affairs support to local, state and federal entities.

A Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Explosive Consequence Management Response Force is a joint force that is generally organized under a two-star headquarters and is composed of three subordinate colonel-level task forces, including operations, medical and aviation.