MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Suit up, get down range, assess the situation, decide what tools to use on site, control contamination while fully encapsulated in a “Level A” hazardous material suit with a limited amount of air and an alarm that goes off after every 12 seconds of non-movement, come back and go through multiple level decontamination. You have 45 minutes; go!
A Marine must be able to do all of these things and be as proficient at these skills as to instruct others on how to accomplish the same mission as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear instructor.
While most Marines associate the CBRN job field with running the gas chamber for annual training, CBRN units do more than that, explained Sgt. Joshua M. Duncan, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar CBRN school non-commissioned officer in charge and a Sacramento, Calif., native.
CBRN defense specialists go through a five-month training school where they learn hazardous material detection, containment and decontamination. This involves learning wind patterns that show where hazardous gases and vapors can range, different types of hazards, and practice for multiple types of scenarios they may come across.
Oregon National Guard, 102 Civil Support Team, conducted a joint training exercise at the Port of Portland, and in Astoria, Ore., Sept. 27-29.
The 102 Civil Support Team trained with multiple federal and local agencies in Exercise Columbia Crest, which was designed to test their ability to respond to potential Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threats.
The exercise also supported essential interagency coordination and partnered with first responders.
Also participating in the exercise was the Job Corps’ tug M/V IUKA with full crew from Job Corps. The 103-foot tug was commanded by Captain Patrick Albers.
Some of the agencies which participated in the training exercise were; FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, TSA, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Vessel Boarding Security Team (VBST), a MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter Crew from Air Station Astoria US Coast Guard, Port of Portland Fire & Police, Portland Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit (MEDU), Port of Portland Marine Security, Oregon State Radiation Protection Services, HAZMAT 07, HAZMAT 11, Department of Energy RAP 8, Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team (CST).
The mission of the Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team is to provide support to community and state authorities in the event of a natural or manmade chemical, biological, radiological, or weapons of mass-destruction incident.
The FDNY Center of Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness is one of the most technologically advanced organizations of its kind in the world, entrusted to keep New York City safe from any and every threat imaginable. Part of their ongoing training and planning involves the LION MT94 multi-threat CRBN garment. The Center put together an overview video to highlight its many advanced capabilities and precautions, and you can see the MT94 being discussed in the PPE section around the 4 minute mark:
Just a couple weeks ago I was teaching a handgun course and there came a point on the range where I realized, looking down the line of students, that every one of them was wearing / carrying their handgun differently. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but the follow on was me examining each platform trying to ascertain what specific purpose it had been built for. Obviously it had to carry the handgun securely but one guy had two magazine pouches also mounted; another had a flashlight and a knife; another yet had a grenade pouch on his… things that make you go “hmmm…” So, with those thoughts in mind, I felt it would be good to discuss a few options and offer up a few suggestions for what they’re worth.
Understand up front that I’m only talking about “tactical” platforms. Of course, they were deemed “tactical” because, back in the day, they were most often used by SWAT folks. Since then we’ve (shooters) come to realize that all of the characteristics that make them great for use by SWAT guys and soldiers also makes them great for use by we “commoners”. (I’m not a SWAT guy anymore) What makes them so great?
It’s a time for remembrance. Nearly 3,000 people were murdered. Each loss creates an unfillable void for family, friends, our fire service and first responder community, and the nation.
It’s a time for reflection. Right after 9/11, as a country, we stood as one. That sense of oneness has looked and felt increasingly fragile over the past two years of economic and political turmoil in our country.
It’s a time for renewed solidarity: to recommit ourselves to a belief in that oneness that we felt so strongly 10 years ago. The challenges we face in each of our communities and in the nation can only be solved through believing in oneness not divisiveness. Divisiveness is what our enemies hope for.
We must also recommit ourselves to the defense of our country – and to its core values. On 9/11, we were attacked by radical Islamist forces not for a specific policy, but for who we are. Remember: in 1993, under a different president from a different party, there was another deadly terror attack on the Twin Towers. It’s America – and what we stand for – that’s the target.
I thank each of our first responders for putting your lives on the line daily to keep our families and communities safe. I hope our nation never experiences anything like 9/11 again, but if we do, know that we as a company are doing everything we can to keep you safe and ready to respond to whatever challenge you face.
Some cops have made the commitment to go armed off-duty every time they leave their residence, and some are a little less strict about it (but hopefully no one reading this has decided that it’s OK to be unarmed whenever they’re off duty). The fact is that in the course of a busy life there are times when it’s darn inconvenient to carry. (I never did carry when running, but I ran with my German Shepherd until we both had to stop; no one attacked him so I must have been quite a deterrent). On top of the inconvenience, there’s the temptation to skip the hassle if you live in a safe community. Most of the inconvenience comes from the fact that you have to go through the rigmarole of strapping the gun onto your belt. Yes, there’s pocket carry, and as convenient as that is, it only applies to small guns, and especially in the hot summer, with lightweight clothing and no coat pockets to carry other stuff in, that too, can become a bit of a hassle.
Situational awareness. Evolving threats. Mission specific. Readiness. These are all terms with which first responders are all very familiar.
Whether it be recent events such as potential backlash from the death of Osama bin Laden, a high-profile sporting event, dignitary visit or an unknown chemical threat, it is critical that today’s first responders are ready to respond when duty calls.
Key criteria in being ready? Being properly trained and having the right equipment to do what the mission is asking of you.
My eldest daughter, her husband and my lovely granddaughter live only a minute’s drive from my wife and me but when I leave my house to head over there, I carry a pistol. My daughter asked, “Why are you carrying your gun here?” I responded that frequently her mother wants me to go to the store or other errands and by carrying a pistol I’m ready for such sojourns. After all, I had a pistol on my ankle when I walked her down the aisle…
Hemet firefighters will now wear body armor when responding to threatening calls or deadly situations.
The department purchased 18 bullet-resistant vests last year in the wake of nine attacks on Hemet police, Fire Chief Bill Whealan said. Fire officials said although the attacks were targeting the Police Department, booby traps were set to kill first responders.