STUMP NECK, Md. --
Officials from the Israeli Ministry of Defense, led by Assistant Minister of Defense retired Israeli Defense Force Brig. Gen. Moshe Edri, visited Marines and sailors with Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, CBIRF, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, at the Downey Responder Training Facility, Naval Annex Stump Neck, Md., Aug. 29, 2016. The officials are part of the Israeli defense ministry’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear or CBRN Defense organization.
The Israeli officials’ visit is part of the groups’ travel to the United States for meetings with leaders around the national capital region. Their visit to CBIRF allows them to gleam knowledge from how the Marines and sailors operate in a contaminated environment.
Lt. Col. Shaun Fitzpatrick, executive officer of CBIRF, presented an informational brief to Israeli officials about the general capabilities, structure and history of CBIRF, followed by subject matter experts, including Capt. Benjamin Royal, company commander of Reaction Force Company, who provided explanation and narration during live-action demonstrations of the unique skills of the unit.
Edri thanked the Marines of CBIRF for their hospitality and stated the he was impressed with their knowledge and abilities. He remarked that the training conducted at the Downey Responder Training Facility was, “Simple, but smart.”
“One of the challenges for us has been that we are doing something quite unique in the Marine Corps,” said Fitzpatrick. “We have had to take the Marine basic rifleman and turn him into a basic ‘hot zone’ operator. The way we’ve attacked that challenge is to create our own school from our own organic facility.”
Members of the Israeli CBRN Defense have worked alongside CBIRF Marines and sailors multiple times over the last few years.
“When we worked with the Israel team, I knew they had the capabilities for CBRN defense,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tracy Wilson, platoon commander for CBIRF’s technical rescue platoon. “Whatever their responders didn’t know, they were receptive to learn from us, and they worked just as hard as any of our Marines.”
“We never stop training,” said Col. Michael Carter, commanding officer of CBIRF. “We are always looking for opportunities to better ourselves including small unit level events run by our noncommissioned officers or a full scale simulated CBRN event that envelops every CBIRF capability.”