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NEWS | May 16, 2022

NY Army Guard Soldiers rehearse decontamination practices

By Spc. Vail Forbeck, 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 222nd Chemical Company at Fort Hamilton conducted a group decontamination training exercise in Pennsylvania May 5.

The exercise involved the Soldiers rehearsing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) decontamination response practices. Some Soldiers acted as though they were contaminated and moved through an eight-step training lane wearing protective suits, and other company members decontaminated them.

“Whenever an incident occurs where Soldiers get contaminated, they come to our company, remove their contaminated gear, and we provide decontamination measures for their equipment and themselves,” said Spc. George Barron, a CBRN specialist. “This is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to do this sort of hands-on training in 3 1/2 years, so it’s a great refresher on what our field does.”

Staff Sgt. Leonardo Fonseca, one of the unit’s noncommissioned officers,  said the exercise was part of a crawl-walk-run training plan the company has been conducting for several months.

“The crawl phase is our company creating a standard operating procedure for our Soldiers to learn and apply, then seeing what works well and what needs to be improved,” Fonseca said. “The walk phase is performing the tasks during training like this, and the run phase is refining based on lessons learned during training.”

The chemical unit’s objective is to decontaminate an entire company effectively within the span of a few hours.