Paratroopers engage in CBRN training at Fort Leonard Wood

Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division recently participated in Exercise Steel Box, a CBRN training exercise that took place at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

Two Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams from the 767th Ordnance Company of the 192nd Ordnance Battalion and reconnaissance platoon and scouts from the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) of the 82nd Airborne Division jumped from a high performance C-130 aircraft onto the post on June 23-24. The exercise, which took place at the base's 1st Lt. Joseph Terry Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Training Facility, focused on entry team tactics, the use of specialized equipment and site security.

The soldiers came together in squad-sized elements to engage in entry-team tactics and chemical/biological weapon battle-drill procedures in realistic training environments. The training will help the 82nd Airborne Division strengthen its ability to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.

"I think what we are doing is (excellent)," Sgt. Ana Bello, a CBRN specialist with the 37th Engineer Battalion, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, said. "It's good that we are merging the tactical field into the CBRN environment. This way we can figure out how to incorporate both and make it work. It was really hard making either one work without training together."

The last two days of training took place at the base's state-of-the-art training facility, which allowed the paratroopers to gain familiarity with chemical weapons and practice how to safely handle them.

"Exercise Steel Box was a great opportunity to conduct realistic training at a premiere hazardous material training facility," Sgt. Maj. Ronald Wilie, the CBRN sergeant major of the 82nd Airborne Division, said. "We were able to integrate and synchronize operations from infantry, explosive ordnance disposal and CBRN paratroopers."