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Partnership between Oregon and Vietnamese CBRNE teams increase interoperability through training

By Tech. Sgt. Jason Van Mourik | Oregon National Guard | Sept. 15, 2017

State Partnership Program   (Related Site)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Members of the Oregon National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear defense (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package participated in the 2017 Disaster Management Engagement Activity held in Hanoi, Vietnam in Aug., 2017.

The Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield explosive Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) worked alongside representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps in order to share information and tactics for chemical disaster response with their partners in Vietnam's National Committee for Incident, Disaster Response, and Search and Rescue.

During the training, subject matter experts from Oregon's CERFP team and VINASARCOM shared concepts and best practices in the medical and chemical triage fields.

"We hope we never actually have to respond to these types of threats, but it's our mission to train for it, and events like this show aggressors that we have the ability to respond," said Oregon Air National Guard Lt. Col. Oliver Wisco, commander, medical group, CERFP Detachment 1. "This is expertise that we at the Oregon National Guard have and can share with other services and our state partners."

A key point for this training is the ability for the troops from both nations to develop professional relationships and to work together as one team during the event of a disaster.

We're conducting this combined, joint training here in Vietnam to increase and validate our interoperability with our partners in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility," said Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christopher Joy, a CBRN defense officer with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. "The interaction that we've had with our Vietnamese partners has been absolutely amazing. We may have language barriers, but we all speak CBRNE and that is what is bringing us together and strengthening our partnership."

The weeklong exercise culminated in a full demonstration exercise, observed by senior officials from Oregon and Vietnam. During the final exercise, Vietnamese and American teams worked together to demonstrate the skills and techniques learned throughout the engagement.

The partnership between the Oregon National Guard and VINASARCOM began in 2012 as part of the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, which pairs states with countries around the world for the purpose of supporting security cooperation between the U.S. and other nations. As state partners and the lead military agencies for emergency management in their respective country and state, the relationship between Oregon and VINASARCOM recognizes that building and maintaining capabilities as emergency managers in times of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is for the benefit of all countries and promotes stability, prosperity and domestic resiliency in the Pacific region.