MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear defense specialists with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 participated in an assessment and consequence management course at Cherry Point March 13.
The purpose of the course was to train and certify Marines as hazardous material technicians. Before participating in the course, the Marines completed the HAZMAT Operations and Awareness prerequisite.
“This course gave us the opportunity to get the training and certifications we need so we can go out and support 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing,” said Sgt. Jeremy Wright, the course noncommissioned officer in charge. “The CBRN Marines who help sustain subordinate units and Marine Expeditionary Units require this level of training and expertise to operate. The certification and follow on training enhances their overall skill sets.”
During the course’s culminating event, the Marines responded to a simulated hazardous materials incident where they were required to take lifesaving steps for contaminated casualties, identify the source of contamination, mitigate the hazard and render it safe, move through a decontamination line, and give a site debrief to the incident commander.
Wright said the Marines faced physical and mental challenges during the exercise. One obvious challenge was the “Class A” HAZMAT suit the Marines donned. Being enclosed in the suit imposes physical limitations, but they worked through the stress and stayed focused on the task at hand, said Wright.
“Overall, the Marines performed well,” said Wright. “They were able to incorporate everything they’ve learned up to this point.”
The CBRN Marines will participate in more scenario-based HAZMAT exercises in the near future. They are expected to take the skills they learn and put them in practice when they deploy, said Wright.
“The HAZMAT technician certification is just a starting point,” Wright said. “From there, we will refine our skills and get more efficient as we go along.”