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News | Sept. 1, 2023

EMF 150 Alpha hosts CBRN Training Teams aboard Camp Pendleton

By Curtis Hill

Marines and Sailors assigned to Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) 150 Alpha, EMF 150 Bravo, EMF 150 Kilo, EMF Camp Pendleton, 1st Medical Battalion, and Combat Logistics Regiment 17 (CLR-17), attended chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton from Aug. 29 through Aug. 31, 2023.

The training was presented by a mobile training team from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) from Fort Detrick, MD, and U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) from Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.

According to their websites, the mission of USAMRIID is “to provide leading edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents” and the mission of USAMRICD is “to discover and develop medical solutions for chemical, biochemical and other emerging non-kinetic acute battlefield injuries via medical research, clinical training and education, and consultation.”

Both commands provide resident courses and mobile training teams.

“Although we provide eleven different in-resident courses, it’s always great to be able to travel to units to provide training and interact with colleagues from other services,” said Army Capt. Athanasia Ashley, Education and Training Chief, USAMRIID. “It helps us to work through our different lingo and acronyms to make it easier to work together across the different service medical branches.”

The training audience was comprised of 68 Marine and Sailors from commands as far away as Camp Lejeune, NC.

The team taught two separate courses during the three-day training evolution. They were the field management of chemical and biological casualty course and the medical management of chemical and biological casualty course.

The purpose of the training was to build the knowledge and skills needed to address the medical response in a chemical biological environment during expeditionary operations.

“It was a great experience being able to have the MCBC Course come out to instruct us. Having the DoD’s subject matter experts uproot their course and bring it to us really allowed for our EMF to maximize participation with minimal interruption to the mission, said Navy Lt. Alexander Miller, EMF 150 Alpha’s Decontamination Officer. “As the command’s Decon Officer, I was pleased with the depth of knowledge and level of training that was imparted to the students in attendance and feel confident in our unit’s ability to perform medical management and decontamination procedures in a forward-deployed environment.”

Each member of the training audience was able to learn and gain valuable experience as the training progressed from the classroom to practical application.

“This training has been valuable as it provides an in-depth focus on the administration of antidotes and the specific dosages required,” said Marine Sgt. Alan Plantikow, Training and Operation Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, CLR-17, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “It’s also great to learn the medical concerns related to what we do in the field and how that impacts what’s done at the role two and three facilities.”

The hosting commanding officer was thankful for all the efforts that went into the successful training evolution.

“I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to the seven instructors from U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense who jointly conducted the course to prepare graduates to effectively manage causalities of chemical and biological agent exposure which meets one of many of the Navy’s Expeditionary Medicine platform requirements, said Navy Capt. Elizabeth Smith, commanding officer of EMF 150 Alpha. “A Bravo Zulu to Lt. Beth Zwick from our Reserve Program Division and Lt. Richard King from our Platform Readiness Department for their efforts in coordinating this collaborate event and getting EMFs from both coasts together in one venue to train as a team.”

“An extended thank you to the I Marine Expeditionary Force Operations CBRN Division, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Pendleton’s Emergency Management Team, 1st Medical Battalion, and Combat Logistics Regiment 17 CBRN Detachment for their logistical support,” Smith added.
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