JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA —
Driving by a large airfield in the middle of nowhere a few times piqued the interest of the 414th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Company commander. He decided to find out who owned it since it looked like a perfect location for training exercises.
What Capt. Raymond Lawson, 414th CBRN Company commander, was seeing is North Auxiliary Airfield (NAAF), a Joint Base Charleston asset capable of hosting a wide range of exercises.
The unit contacted the 628th Air Base Wing Plans and Program office at Joint Base Charleston to inquire about using North Auxiliary Airfield for the exercise. They then filled out a request detailing how they planned to use the airfield. After the Plans and Program office determined the request was feasible, it was approved.
Joint Base Charleston representatives meet with all inquiring organizations prior to approving them to use the airfield to ensure all safety and environmental regulations are followed.
“It is a wide open space that makes a good training area,” said Capt. Raymond Lawson, 414th CBRN Company commander. “There is a decent water source here. It is perfect for this type of training. As long as I’m commanding here we will try to utilize North Auxiliary Airfield again.”
More than 150 soldiers and civilians from 414th CBRN Company, 409th Area Support Medical Company (ASMC), U.S. Army North and others participated in a mass casualty decontamination training exercise at North Auxiliary Airfield in North, South Carolina Jan. 10 and 13.
The purpose of the exercise was to prepare the units for situations requiring immediate chemical and medical support.
“Mass casualty decontamination exercises prepare Soldiers to be a medical asset if we ever get called to an incident site,” said Maj. Darcie Greuel, commander 409th ASMC. “Our mission is to triage patients and treat them for emergent wounds or medical needs. Then we help transport them to local area clinics and hospitals for continuing care.”
Both units work hand-in-hand to set up a treatment center capable of decontaminating and caring for victims of a CBRN attack within a two and a half hour time limit. The temporary treatment facilities allow for the 414th CBRN Company and 409th ASMC to work together to triage patients, decontaminate them and provide medical in one consolidated location.
“All-in-all, everything went great,” Lawson. “The set up was good. We got the lineup and running to start processing casualties. The 409th ASMC provides excellent medical support and know what they are doing. We make a good team.”