11th MEU conducts CBRND Training

17 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Demetrius Morgan 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Hikes, helo dunker training, and table three shooting. These are only a few training exercises that the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit has participated in over the last few months. One of the many aspects that Marines take pride in is always being mission capable. The 11th MEU makes it a priority to maintain the highest mission readiness in all aspects of combat.

On Oct. 16, the MEU continued to do so. The 11th MEU conducted practical application training of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Individual Survival Measures. To simulate combat like conditions, combat conditioning was performed, while in protective equipment.

“The importance of CBRND training is to teach Marines immediate action drills for CBRND related responses,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Fordham, the CBRND chief and Ballston Spa, N.Y. native with the 11th MEU. “Ultimately, it is to increase a Marine’s survivability during combat operations in a CBRND environment.”

Collectively, the unit was instructed on how to properly conduct operator level preventative maintenance checks and services on their issued M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask, which is the standard issue protective mask the Marine Corps uses in combat.

The unit then was instructed on the different Mission Oriented Protective Posture levels and how to properly upgrade to each level to avoid contamination. CWO 3 Kevin Quigley, the CBRND officer and native of Bristol, Penn., instructed the MEU on how to upgrade from MOPP level zero to MOPP level four.

The MEU was then broken into five teams and rotated between six different training stations with each station instructing basic CBRND techniques, procedures and equipment.

When the instructors yelled “rotate” each group gathered their litter, ammo cans and water jugs and carried it to the next station.

“This training is not only mandated for all Marines and sailors by the Marine Corps Order 3400.3G, but this training could save lives,” said Quigley. “Everyone thinks it is easy from the outside observing, but MOPP gear is an operational condition that many have not trained with in recent years. Our intent today is not to haze or hurt anyone, but to ensure that our personnel are trained and understand the added stressors associated with a CBRND environment.”

Today, many countries have discarded the use of chemical weapons, but they still exist in many areas and are still considered a worldwide threat.

"It's not a question of if an attack could happen, in today's world it is a question of when,” said Quigley. “These Marines and sailors need to realize that and train to that threat as we prepare for worldwide service. We will need to be prepared to conduct our mission under any conditions, deadly or otherwise.”

After MEU personnel finished all the stations, they were brought back together to participate in operational decontamination exercises and to observe a patient "cut-out" in a simulated contaminated environment.

The next training event that the MEU is scheduled to participate in is a hike that will feature a CBRN training evolution via the use of the riot control agent 2-chlorobenzal malononitrile, otherwise known as “CS”. This will force Marines and sailors to apply the same defense tactics that they just retrained on.

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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