Fort McCoy News August 22, 2014

Red Dragon Soldiers train in CBRN defense

BY STAFF SGT. PETER FORD
211th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT MCCOY, Wis. — Canadian allies trained with the 415th Chemical Brigade chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defense Soldiers during the Red Dragon exercise taking place here.

Red Dragon is an exercise used to develop, train and assess the capabilities of CBRN units. This year, Soldiers from the Canadian army participated in the training here to enhance their defense against weapons of mass destruction.

"This training here is very important to us," said Capt. Bill Mountan, operations officer, of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. "The threat of weapons of mass destruction is real, and our country is beginning to focus on this type of training."

Some of the training during this Red Dragon exercise consisted of the wear and use of protective equipment, the detection of possible CBRN agents and the decontamination of personnel and equipment. This joint exercise with the Canadian Army will help the Canadians build a CBRN defense.

"Very few Soldiers in the Canadian Army have had CBRN training," said Col. Charles Jones, deputy commander of the 415th CBRN Brigade, of Greenville, S.C. "This is a great opportunity to help train them and enhance the skills of our Soldiers."

The Red Dragon Exercise presents many learning opportunities for the Canadian and Army Reserve Soldiers as well. During this training, Soldiers from both countries have a chance to use the latest techniques and equipment in the fight against weapons of mass destruction or the threat of a possible CBRN attack.

"This training gives the Canadian Soldiers a chance to see how American Soldiers do business," said Jones. "They also have the opportunity observe as well as participate in the training."

The CBRN training at Red Dragon also is vital to the safety of Soldiers both of the United States and Canada.

"The recon and decon mission of CBRN helps keep Soldiers in the fight," said Sgt. Matthew De La Cruz, a reconnaissance noncommissioned officer of the 369th Chemical Company, from El Paso, Texas. "We collect soil samples and air sample in an effort to detect any CBRN in the areas that may be harmful to our troops."

The reconnaissance missions taught at Red Dragon train Soldiers and the joint forces of Canada how to detect chemical agents. Soldiers and Canadian forces also are taught how to use the latest decontamination equipment. "We have high pressure lanes that are used to decontaminate personnel and equipment," said De La Cruz.