Ft. Leonard Wood facility conducts CBRN training for U.S. Army Engineer Battalion

U.S. Army engineers recently conducted training exercises in a facility usually reserved for specialists in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare.

The Army's 103rd Engineer Company, 94th Engineer Battalion, wore chemical protective suits and trained at the Chemical Defense Training Facility at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, according to MyGuidon.com.

"This could easily be the first-ever non-chemical group of soldiers that have trained inside the facility," CDTF instructor Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Applegate said, MyGuidon.com reports. "We had a group of Marines in here a few months back, but they were still chemical.

"Unless you're a CBRN soldier, it's rare that you get to go through this training, and this is the first unit to go through that is not chemical."

Staff Sgt. Rayshaun McIntosh, a CBRN noncommissioned officer of the 94th Engineer Battalion, came up with the idea of training at the facility. His unit is the first of its kind to go through the training, but others are scheduled to follow.

"We always knew the facility was here, and with the mission of the brigade having a requirement to be first responders to a potential chemical attack, or chemical spill in a natural disaster, this (training at the facility) made perfect sense," McIntosh said, MyGuidon.com reports.

Some of the soldiers admitted their trepidation at the idea of entering the protective areas that contained real chemical agents, but after-action reviews were almost unanimously positive.

"I didn't think it would be as realistic as it was, but it clearly was some great training and made you really appreciate your gear," Spc. Corey Amos said, MyGuidon.com reports. "It's a lot different when you are doing this with the real thing."