Story by Alex McLauglin
Feature Photo by Erica Lafser
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear– CBRN training prepares soldiers for the worst war has to offer.
Leaders Training Course Cadets experienced their first taste of CBRN training Sunday with a run through the gas chambers.
Cadets spent the morning learning how to properly use their masks. After a lengthy briefing, the Cadets were able to put the skills they learned into practice. Thick smoke emitting from the doors of the chamber signaled the beginning of LTC Regiment 1’s run through the gas chamber.
Cadets, who were covered from head to toe in protective hazmat gear, entered the camouflaged building where Cadre ignited small pills which contained the hazardous riot-control agent. Once inside, Cadets performed a variety of exercises to ensure they had no choice but to take a deep breath when the mask was removed.
Some Cadets attempt to hold their breath, some cadets try to escape the chamber early, but the Cadre are there to provide the full experience of the training and no cadet leaves the gas chamber unfazed.
The result is a sight to behold.
Though the training turns out to be a great time for LTC Cadets to bond, the principles behind the training are important. Cadets are taught procedures that could save their lives whether they choose to remain a civilian or are serving in the Army.
Sgt. Jerome Thomas of Fort Bliss, Texas is an expert on safety procedures when dealing when hazardous materials.
Thomas said the benefits from this type of training go far beyond a few tears shared with friends and sinus cleansings from the CS gas.
“We give the most precise instruction possible,” Thomas said. “CBRN training teaches the Cadet to be aware of their surroundings. The Cadets learn that they can rely on their equipment to save them. Confidence in yourself and the procedures is very important in these situations.”