At the end of 2015, the Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction Business Unit (CBARR) met at the U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) to collaborate on a forthcoming mission.
Such meetings before an operation are rare, said Tom Rosso, chief of the program management office at CBARR.
Usually, meetings before a mission occur one to three weeks in advance and are on the project site. After discussing safety and operations, any changes to the mission must take place days in advance.
Most CBARR missions are through other organizations, who have asked multiple teams to come together to complete the mission. On this particular pre-operational survey, CBARR collaborated with three other agencies to better plan for the mission at hand.
The three training days were divided into stages, entitled “Crawl, Walk, Run.” The first day focused on setting up and learning the equipment; the second day was a slow-paced rehearsal; and the last day was a full run-through of two situations that may crop up in the mission -- injury and exposure.
This particular mission concerns chemical assessment, and CBARR has been practicing how to assess and help those that may have been contaminated. The training took place in a warehouse. Five different tents served as stations, containing the equipment team members would be using on the mission, including a laboratory, a command center, a repair tent and two triage tents.
As extra preparation and another set of eyes, CBARR invited another group to act as observers of the mission -- looking for any issues or concerns -- about which the team was debriefed after the fact.
CBARR's pre-operational survey allowed for it to show its strengths and gain a better standing in the chemical biological demilitarization realm. Overall, the training was important for building teamwork, observing possible problems that may arrive on the field and testing equipment before the mission.