FORT BLISS, Texas-Soldiers with the 83rd Chemical Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia, and the 110th Chemical Battalion, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, conducted an assessment of future Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear equipment Oct. 13, as part of the Army Warfighting Assessment (AWA 17.1) at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The AWA is an operationally realistic and rigorous exercise, enabling Soldier-led assessments of concepts and capabilities for future force development. These assessments will be conducted at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, scheduled from Oct. 17-28. AWA offers an experimental environment in which to shape requirements and improve current capabilities. Each exercise will help the Army adapt to challenges to win in a complex world.
“This opportunity to bring early developmental prototypes into the exercise will expedite the acquisition process, and increase the rate of innovation for our Army,” said Maj. Gen. Terrence McKenrick, Commanding General, Brigade Modernization Command.
During the CBRN equipment assessment, multiple units supporting the Joint CBRN Advance Capability Sets-Enhanced Capability Demonstration operated and assessed equipment and capabilities in response to a simulated chemical attack.
Throughout the simulation, CBRN Soldiers and leaders were able to assess and evaluate equipment for future use by chemical Soldiers.
Maj. Damian Dixon, a member of the Joint Program Executive Office, discussed how this assessment allowed military personnel to identify capability gaps and highlight benefits gained from new capabilities.
“This CBRN excursion benefits the Army because it introduces new and exciting equipment to our high-speed chemical Soldiers,” said Dixon. “Throughout the past four days, we’ve had an opportunity to provide some realistic training on equipment like our Talon robot with sensors, which will enable the user to get chemical analysis on a target without sending a Soldier into the suspected contaminated area.”
Assessing equipment like the M53 protective masks, Powered Air Purified Respiratory systems, Nett Warrior systems, and Talon robots, as well as receiving feedback from the Soldiers operating these capabilities is one of the goals for AWA.
Pvt. Matthew King, a chemical operation specialist with the 83rd Chemical Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia, was a front-line Soldier assessing some of the developmental concepts and capabilities.
“The Talon system has been around for some time now, but manufacturers recently made a CBRN Talon for chemical Soldiers,” said King. “Now it has chemical, biological and radiological detectors on it, which is beneficial because you don’t have to worry about your battle buddy or anyone going down-range and getting injured. It makes you feel much more safe.”
According to Army Training and Doctrine Command, the AWA exercise will allow the Army to explore the “art of the possible,” refine requirements, improve system- engineering processes and apply lessons learned to enhance the integration and acquisition of concepts and capabilities.