2d Marine Division training to find, detect and extract dangerous chemicals

CBRN, or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminant, training shows Marines how to navigate substances, potentially dangerous on a large-scale, in the face of an enemy.
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 4:18 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WITN) - Marines can come across just about anything in combat, and the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune is training them to learn how to tackle it.

CBRN, or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear contaminants, training is a real-life simulation that shows Marines how to find, detect and extract substances that can be anything from harmless chemicals to weapons of mass destruction.

“Anything can happen and you just have to be prepared for everything,” said LCpl Shaun Franklin, a CBRN specialist. “It’s really cool to go from learning it in books and going through training to actually see it happen. To actually get the chance to put on the suits, go down the range and see what actual labs look like.”

The multi-step training has Marines go from old buildings on base and search room-to-room for any potentially harmful substances. Dressed head-to-toe in protective gear, their devices guide them to detect the chemicals.

Once the labs are found, they send photos and tests back to a second team, whose job it is to come in and extract the chemicals.

“It may look confusing if you’ve never seen it before,” said Retired CW4 Pete Serra, a CBRN trainer who’s been working the job for 34 years. “Really for them, this would be just enough to give them a good test, particularly for younger Marines who don’t have a lot of experience on this.”

The teams are assessed on their ability to complete the simulation accurately, and on their reactions to the very real possibility the mission does not go as planned. Trainers will occasionally throw a wrench into their exercise as though the chemicals they handled led to a medical emergency for a teammate.

“It makes us realize how important our job is,” said Franklin. “And how crucial it is for us to stay well-trained and stay vigilant.”

Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.