DVIDS – News – Soldiers, Army civilians remove unexploded chemical munitions from Redstone Arsenal
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Highly trained units from the U.S. military’s premier all hazards command are removing old unexploded chemical munitions from a former bomb disposal area on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
U.S. Army civilians from the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Analytical and Remediation Activity – Remediation Response West and Chemical Corps Soldiers are working together to clear the Gulf Chemical Warfare Depot on the base.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) specialists from the Fort Bliss, Texas-based 46th Chemical Company (Technical Escort) are working with CARA civilians during the operation.
The 46th Chemical Company (Technical Escort) is part of the 22nd Chemical Battalion and 48th Chemical Brigade. Both units are from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-headquartered 20th CBRNE Command. From 19 bases on 16 states, Soldiers and Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command support joint, interagency and allied operations around the world.
CARA provides a world-wide emergency response capability for Recovered Chemical Warfare Material, remediation support for combatant commanders, technical escort of chemical materials and mobile laboratories.
Steven M. Tewhill, a U.S. Army civilian and Senior Unexploded Ordnance Supervisor from CARA Remediation Response-West on Redstone Arsenal, said the current chemical munition clearance operation is part of a long-term effort.
“CARA has been supporting other remediation operations on Redstone Arsenal since 2014 and will probably continue through 2025,” said Tewhill, adding that CARA Remediation Response West was moved from Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas, to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to be closer to the ongoing clearance operation.
In addition to Tewhill, the CARA civilians involved include Jeffrey Williams from Choctaw, Oklahoma; Donald Jennings from Sheridan, Arkansas; Christopher Crecelius from Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee; Kevin Hanuszczak from Kaneohe, Hawaii; Christopher Henke from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; Taylor Phillips from Sheffield, Alabama; Anthony Pino from Lorton, Virginia; Wende Thornton from Canton, Texas; and Clinton Vandiver from Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Soldiers currently involved in the clearance operation include 1st Lt. Joshua Young from Washington, D.C.; Sgt. 1st Class Leandria Thrasher from Birmingham, Alabama; Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Washington from Miami; Staff Sgt. Patrice Williams from Longview, Texas; Sgt. Andrew Van Deventer from Cary, North Carolina; Sgt. David Hernandez from Cortez, Colorado; Spc. Osvaldo Casterner from Cayey, Puerto Rico; Spc. Michael Di Mola from Bay Shore, New York; Pfc. Guillermo Garduno from Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Pfc. Christian Stough from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Tewhill said the chemical munitions they are clearing from the bomb disposal site have been there for more than 60 years.
“This ordnance was either buried intact, burned or detonated during authorized disposal in the 1940s – 1960s,” said Tewhill. “Most of the munition residue encountered shows a complete disposal, although occasionally there is liquid residue inside. Then that ordnance will be packaged and stored for further disposal.”
According to Tewhill, the remediation effort gives CBRN Soldiers firsthand experience with the hazards they could confront on the battlefield. Before supporting the clearance operation, the CBRN Soldiers complete the 40-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response course that prepares them to work with hazardous materials.
Tewhill said the Soldiers then occupy positions in the personnel decontamination station, rescue, packaging, life support and Command Post operations.
The assessment area is only covered by Explosive Ordnance Disposal-qualified civilians in the Radiation Protection Program.
“Soldiers get real-world experience working with live chemical agents in ordnance and possibly on someone’s Personnel Protective Equipment. Even in the Command Post, the pace is real with no time for a do-over,” said Tewhill.
“No amount of training can simulate the pace of live operations and the unexpected problems that must be solved,” said Tewhill. “The Soldiers will benefit in ways they may not recognize for years in the future.”
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Washington from the 46th Chemical Company said the clearance operation “gives Soldiers confidence and validation in their training.”
Franz J. Amann, the CARA director, said Soldiers and Army civilians both benefit from the experience earned during the clearance operation.
“The experience the CBRN Soldiers gain working with our seasoned Army civilians better prepares them to confront and defeat all hazards on the battlefield. Many of our CARA civilians have decades of experience and this operation gives them the opportunity to share it with the next generation of CRBN warriors,” said Amann, a retired U.S. Army Chemical Corps colonel from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
“The work these professionals are doing not only removes potential military hazards from the environment but it also allows the site to be reutilized for ongoing expansion on Redstone Arsenal,” said Amann. “Once the sites are cleared, the Department of Defense, FBI and NASA will plan to construct new facilities in the cleared area.”
Amann said the experience gained on these active remediation sites will give the Soldiers the capabilities to properly plan for conducting assessment and consolidation of known and suspected chemical munitions they may encounter on the battlefield.
“We also hope this experience causes the Soldiers that rotate through the remediation operations to consider potentially joining the CARA team when they retire or ETS (leave) from the service,” said Amann. “We continuously have open positions that the Soldiers can easily fill.”
|Date Posted:||02.15.2023 12:31|
|Location:||REDSTONE ARSENAL, AL, US|
|Hometown:||BAY SHORE, NY, US|
|Hometown:||BIRMINGHAM, AL, US|
|Hometown:||CANTON, TX, US|
|Hometown:||CARY, NC, US|
|Hometown:||CHOCTAW, OK, US|
|Hometown:||CORTEZ, CO, US|
|Hometown:||ELIZABETHTOWN, KY, US|
|Hometown:||FORT WAYNE, IN, US|
|Hometown:||KANEOHE, HI, US|
|Hometown:||LONGVIEW, TX, US|
|Hometown:||LORTON, VA, US|
|Hometown:||MIAMI, FL, US|
|Hometown:||SHEFFIELD, AL, US|
|Hometown:||SHERIDAN, AR, US|
|Hometown:||SODDY-DAISY, TN, US|
|Hometown:||TUSCALOOSA, AL, US|
|Hometown:||WASHINGTON, DC, US|
|Hometown:||WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI, US|
This work, Soldiers, Army civilians remove unexploded chemical munitions from Redstone Arsenal, by Walter Ham, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.
Private Internet Access gives you unparalleled access to thousands of next-gen servers in over 83 countries and each US state. Your VPN experience will always be fast, smooth, and reliable.