U.S. soldiers train Kosovo hazmat unit

U.S. soldiers from the 7th Civil Support Command (CSC), which is part of the 773rd Civil Support Team (CST), recently trained 20 members of the Kosovo Security Force's (KSF) new hazmat unit.

The 7th CST joined with a soldier from the Iowa National Guard to train the hazmat unit on May 12-21 during an event led by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Pristina, Kosovo.

Kosovo declared itself an independent country in February 2008. The NATO-trained KSF was declared fully operational by NATO in July 2013.

The KSF trained on protecting its equipment and the use of different types of equipment, including hazmat identifier equipment.

"We were giving them basic (hazmat) training," Sgt. Tameeka Dubose, a survey team member of the 7th CSC, said. "We're really here to assist them in finding their gaps in what they can do better and increase their knowledge of CBRN."

On the final day of training, the KSF hazmat members dealt with a simulated scenario of a suspected chemical contamination from a truck accident and spill.

"Today was a culminating practical exercise that tested all of the training we taught them," Dubose said. "We're using the training to actually evaluate how much they remember from the equipment we taught them on and applying that and showing us how they would execute a response to a CBRN type incident. They showed us that they did learn a lot from us with basic use of equipment and some of the application of the CBRN information we gave them. Seeing them respond to a simulated CBRN incident allowed us to visually gauge where they stand, when it comes to basic CBRN or (hazmat) concerns."

The training concluded with a graduation ceremony on May 21 that was attended by several Kosovo and U.S. military dignitaries.