U.S., Korean CBRN teams train in Washington State

U.S. and South Korean chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives teams recently conducted a series of joint training missions held at an abandoned nuclear reactor in Washington State.

During three days of training at the Satsop Nuclear Power Plant, soldiers from the U.S. Army 11th Chemical Company, 110th Chem. Battalion (Technical Escort) and the 24th Korean Chemical Special Forces Battalion practiced delicate site exploitation techniques and safety procedures, according to DVIDSHub.net.

CBRN teams are used to secure areas or facilities after receiving reports of a live agent or combination of a live agent and weaponry. They are responsible for removing the threat and sampling any suspicious substances.

During the training's final stage, the Korean team, using U.S. chemical equipment and tactics, faced the threat of mustard gas while operating in an almost totally dark, makeshift laboratory.

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Matheney observed the Korean team's movements to ensure they followed the lessons from previous classes.

Matheney said U.S. CBRN teams are the best trained in their field and at times acted as mentors for their Korean counterparts, although he acknowledged they often have a different objective and use different techniques.

"They're worried about the threat coming from North Korea, and the munitions they might find, so they're not really worried about the chemistry part of it," Matheney said, DVIDSHub.net reports. "Our mission is geared a little bit toward a different objective than theirs is, but just the components and the basics themselves will allow them to actually accomplish their mission."

Sgt. 1st Class Jang Won Park, a sample team leader, was pleased to have the opportunity to form a relationship with the Americans.

"You can learn and adapt from their previous experience, and the United States forces have actual experience in warzones, in Iraq and Afghanistan," Park said, DVIDSHub.net reports.