CARA validates CBRN heavy expeditionary laboratory capability Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 July 2014
By Walter Ham 
Army News Service

The U.S. Army activity that analyzes and remediates Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive threats validated its heavy expeditionary laboratory capability during Exercise Atropian  Phoenix.

Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, commandant of the U.S. Army CBRN School, attended the exercise held at Fort Irwin, Calif., earlier this month.

The importance of this exercise as related to the Fort Leonard Wood CBRN mission and how Soldiers are trained is twofold, according to Gervais.
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Irvine Swahn, a CBRN Analytical and Remediation Activity chemist, right, briefs Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, commandant of the U.S. Army CBRN School, during Exercise Atropian Phoenix, at Fort Irwin, Calif. Courtesy photo

“First, it is the CBRN Soldiers on the ground at these sites who are responsible for the initial characterization, identification, assessment and collection of CBRN samples,” Gervais said.  

“Secondly, CBRN units and Soldiers’ efforts at the onset of WMD-(weapons of mass destruction)-site-exploitation missions make it possible for the Heavy Mobile Expeditionary Lab to provide the in-depth analysis of chemical and biological samples, which allow commanders to make timely decisions and assist in the planning of weapons of mass destruction exploitation missions at the tactical, operational and strategic levels,” Gervais added.

Gervais, the 28th chief of chemical, said that the exercise provided a critical opportunity for units to train on a wide variety of conventional and hybrid threats. For CBRN units and personnel, how well they are able to support HMEL analytical operations is key to the successful execution CBRNE exploitation activities.  

The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.,-based CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, also known as CARA, tested its deployable Heavy Mobile Expeditionary Laboratory, or HMEL, during simulated  combat operations.

CARA’s Mobile Expeditionary Lab, referred to as the MEL, participated in two National Training Center rotations on Fort Irwin this year with the Light Mobile Expeditionary Lab, or LMEL, prior to deploying the HMEL for the first time.

During Exercise Atropian Phoenix, eight civilian scientists from CARA tested environmental, chemical, biological and explosive samples inside the heavy mobile laboratory.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 July 2014 )