MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear specialists conducted radiological training at Marine Corps Outlying Field Atlantic and concluded the training evolution at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Feb. 17-19.
More than 20 Marines with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, Marine Aircraft Group 14 and Marine Aircraft Group 28 took part in training scenarios with live radioactive sources. Marines were tasked with identifying and locating the sources of radiation, while following protocol during the training event. CBRN Marines concluded their training evolution with a debrief at MCAS Cherry Point to reflect on the results of the event.
“The reality of having active radiation sources puts more pressure on the Marines during the training exercises,” explained Sgt. John Michau, the CBRN defense chief with MACG-28. “Although it is a training exercise, the sense of urgency and stress on safety is greater as there is a threat of radioactive exposure.”
The CBRN Marines conducted drills simulating a combat scenario, as well as urbanized situations they could potentially be tasked to respond to in the future. The Marines also utilized all their available radiological equipment.
According to Michau, the training exercise allowed the Marines to have an integration between the various units and different levels of experiences. Newer CBRN members had the ability to go down range with experienced senior Marines and receive guidance on procedures they were unclear of.
“This exercise not only allows us to evaluate the readiness of our Marines, but it also builds confidence in their knowledge of their gear while bringing us together as a team,” said Michau. “As Marines, we must always hone our skills in order to ensure we are ready at a moments notice. The feedback we receive after the training we conduct lets us see the areas of improvement we have to work on and see the Marines perspective on the training.”
According to Lance Cpl. Ryan Shriver, a CBRN specialist with MWHS-2, this is the first time he has ever participated in live training in the fleet. The training provided the Marines with first-hand experience which is not routinely conducted due to the presence of live radiation sources.
“We run mock drills often as part of training,” said Shriver. “This is the first time since my arrival where we did live training. It’s a different experience to have live readings and real factors kick in while training. The live training allows us to hone our skills as individuals and as response teams.”