AUGUST 11, 2016, IWAKUNI, Japan – U.S. Marines with Combat Logistics Company 36 train for garrison and operational environments with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Aug. 10, 2016.
The training tested CLC-36’s effectiveness, personnel and equipment under CBRN conditions, and reinforced individual confidence in the use and implementation of personal protective equipment.
Marines, already in mission oriented protective posture gear, also known as MOPP gear, were evaluated on their ability to effectively detect, report, respond and operate in a simulated CBRN environment. When given the signal “gas, gas, gas,” Marines scrambled to don their M50 Joint Service General Purpose Masks before returning to work as if everything was normal.
Personnel from Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, traveled to MCAS Iwakuni to instruct and observe this CBRN training.
“CLC-36 conducted mission essential task training and accomplished unit training and readiness standards in a simulated CBRN environment,” said U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Smith, CBRN defense chief with CLR-35. “This training is a requirement per Marine Corps Order 3400.3G and for all units to conduct mission essential tasks and be observed by a higher headquarters.”
In the morning, Marines were distributed their MOPP gear and instructed to suit up to level two gear in preparation of a simulated CBRN attack. Once given the signal, Marines then dressed to MOPP level four, which consists of a protective coat, trousers, boots and gloves with a gas mask, providing Marines maximum protection from any CBRN agents.
After equipping their gear, Marines returned to their normal duties such as metal working, draining transmission fluid, and inspecting equipment.
“This exercise facilitated placing the Marines within an uncomfortable and unusual environment, forcing them to think outside-the-box while executing their daily tasks,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Sanford, CLC-36 commanding officer. “The Marines don’t get to operate within an uncomfortable situation often . . . doing exercises and events like this put the Marines in an unfamiliar environment and forces them to work as a team to accomplish tasks that were simple before.”
Conducting this training helps Marines refresh their tactical skill sets specific to CBRN response, maintain situational readiness and ensures the safety of personnel.
“We had a quick reaction time,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Michael Wessinger, heavy equipment mechanic with CLC-36. “As soon as the Marines suited up into full MOPP gear, they immediately started helping out other Marines and were prepared for the situation.”
The valuable training prepares the Marines to defend themselves from CBRN attacks and continue to execute Marine Corps missions.
“I believe the Marines would do well in a real-world scenario with the limited training they received today,” said Sanford. “We will continue to build on the training and after actions that have been received in order to build a stronger and more realistic training environment. They performed their jobs to standard, and I was greatly impressed with the Marines.”