Marines with engineer platoon set up a mobile air-conditioning unit. Providing air-conditioning to the chow hall gave the Marines hands-on training that further sharpens their skills needed to conduct expeditionary operations. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Marines/Jonathan Herrera)
Maintaining a high state of readiness is a top priority for the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, CBIRF, whose mission could send them across the globe within a moment’s notice to support chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive crisis management.
Preparing Marines and sailors for “no fail” missions starts with taking care of the unit’s personnel at their home station.
Marines with CBIRF set up mobile cooling stations for the local chow hall at Naval Support Facility Indian Head, Md., July 22, 2016.
“This provided additional, real-world training. They had to think outside of the box,” said Capt. Craig Shurgot, a Montgomery, Texas, native and the logistics officer for CBIRF. The more junior Marines learn from their superiors with hands-on training and working out the kinks of setting up the equipment he added.
In a real-world crisis, these Marines can provide heat or air conditioning to the reconstitution tent where Marines coming back from a contaminated site or “hot zone” can rest and rehydrate. They also provide utilities for the medical personnel sent to a contaminated area and provide their services to the center operations center for a more austere, expeditionary situation.
Shurgot commended the engineer platoon, commenting on their high work ethic and motivation even while setting up the equipment.
“Whatever [we] task them with, they complete to their full ability,” said Shurgot. “Whenever they were out there, they worked together as a team. And it gives them the opportunity to make a difference.
“The number one priority is the Marines.”
For the engineer platoon and the logistics component of CBIRF, the number one priority is taking care of Marines, said Shurgot
“We will keep doing our best to provide some comfort for the Marines,” said Prince George, Va., native-Sgt. Kenneth Hunt. “It benefits the Marines by improving the overall morale. The engineer section is trying to help the Marines feel a sense of being at home.”
Hunt who serves as the maintenance chief for the Engineer platoon with CBIRF led the effort by supervising the Marines under his charge and working alongside them. The individuals setting up the equipment were electrical systems technicians, water support technicians or engineer equipment mechanics with the unit.
When directed, CBIRF forward-deploys and/or responds with minimal warning to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) threat or event in order to assist local, state, or federal agencies and the geographic combatant commanders in the conduct of CBRNE response or consequence management operations, providing capabilities for command and control; agent detection and identification; search, rescue, and decontamination; and emergency medical care for contaminated personnel.
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