In 2014, the 20th CBRNE Command began training with U.S. Army combat units at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California; and at the Joint Readiness Training Center on Fort Polk, Louisiana. According to Lt. Col. Eric Towns, commander of the 22nd Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort), the exercise demonstrated his task force’s ability to respond to CBRNE hazards in support of combat operations. At Fort Polk, the CBRNE task force conducted counter-proliferation of chemical agents, dismantled conventional and chemical improvised explosive devices, and responded to chemical hazards. At Fort Irwin, the CBRNE task force included Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units, chemical reconnaissance and decontamination units, CBRNE Response Teams, a Nuclear Disablement Team, and a Heavy Mobile Expeditionary Laboratory.
Brig. Gen. JB Burton, the commanding general of the 20th CBRNE Command, said the U.S. Army’s combat training centers provide a realistic venue for training Soldiers to operate in an all hazards environment.
Burton said the rotation to Fort Irwin for Exercise Atropian Phoenix was a milestone for his command. “This was another chance to get our Soldiers into a Combat Training Center rotation in support of a brigade combat team decisive action rotation,” said Burton, who commands the U.S. Army’s sole formation tasked with combating chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.Our Army’s Combat Training Centers remain some of the crown jewels of our Army, where our Soldiers and units get the opportunity to train against a living, thinking opposing force of professionals who want to win,” said Burton.