Marines hold response training against CBRNE attacks

Marines from the decontamination platoon put a child pretending to be injured on a backboard during Exercise Silent Ghost outside St. Elizabeth's East Hospital in Washington, D.C. The exercise was a simulated chemical, biological, radiologic | Courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps
Marines from the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) took part in a simulated attack on a Washington D.C. hospital April 7 and 8.
The attack simulated a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNE) incident and allowed CBIRF members to gain experience in a real world scenario with low risk simulations involving role players. The CBIRF consists of two response forces that can perform all tasks related to a threat of this kind.
"It gives us a chance to operate in a more real world scenario,” CBRIF member Marine Lance Cpl. Levi Schalot said. “They also offer role-players, which gives it a more realistic training approach rather than pulling dummies out. When you actually have a person (that) you’re dragging out on your skid, it makes it a lot more real and it gives you that extra edge that you need to get the most out of the training."

The training exercise was carried out over 36-hour period. It provided realistic obstacles for corpsmen including fatigue and maintaining teamwork in a highly stressful environment.
"Everybody has to get in and find their groove,” Schalot said. “Each section figures out exactly what they have to do to work seamlessly together, to start effectively, and quickly pulling victims out and getting the situation under control.”

The simulation operation, Silent Ghost, is one of many exercises that the CBIRF conducts in order to bolster response and preparedness for a real CBRNE threat.

Organizations in this story

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force 3399 Strauss Ave Indian Head, MD 20640

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