Defense platoon prepares marines to work in contaminated environments

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Platoon is helping other MEU service members to prepare for operating in environments that are contaminated.

The platoon is spending an entire month preparing the 2,400 service members who make up the MEU to properly use gas masks and mission oriented protective posture gear while effectively engaging in the decontamination process.

"The class we are teaching helps prepare Marines and sailors against CBRN threats they could come across while serving overseas," Lance Cpl. James R. Kerr, a CBRN defense specialist for the 15th MEU Defense Platoon, said. "It's important for them to know how to react appropriately to contaminated environments and how to conduct missions in mission oriented protective posture gear."

The course will teach ship-focused Marines how to properly remove MOPP gear and how to use different tools in CBRN contaminated environments.

"This was an excellent refresher of skills using MOPP gear and the decontamination process," Master Sgt. Jason C. Benedict, an operations chief with the 15th MEU, said. "There are certain countries that have chemical weapons, and we could be employed to take charge, safeguard and control the area."

The 15th MEU is currently embarked as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group while serving as the rapid-response sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force for the country's Western Pacific Deployment.