"Alert! Alert! Alert!": Czech chemists practiced decontamination in challenging conditions

 16. 04. 2023      category: Army of the Czech Republic
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"Alert! Alert! Alert!" Members of the 13th eFP (Enhanced Forward Presence) Company in Lithuania have been preparing for this signal intensively for a good month. Thus began the Rising Bull exercise in the Pabradé training area. This exercise was primarily to train the defensive activities of the multinational unit in Rukla, Lithuania, and also serves as a rehearsal for the all-important Iron Wolf exercise in May.

Units from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Croatia, Luxembourg, Germany, Norway and Belgium participated in the Rising Bull exercise. Our country was represented by members of Major General Oskar Starkoč's 31st Regiment of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection from Liberec. The chemists are involved in protection against weapons of mass destruction within the multinational unit in Lithuania. They provide their years of experience in chemical and radiation reconnaissance and decontamination. And it was the WMD scenarios that were played out in the Rising Bull exercise.

06-liberecni-chemici-se-pod-maskami-zapotiliPicture: During the exercise, chemists had to decontaminate dozens of military vehicles | Capt. Petr Šabaka

"We detected the presence of sarin gas after an artillery ambush," the German mechanized company commander informed the battalion staff. Decontamination of personnel and vehicles was ordered. Chemists were assigned decontamination sites. "We were given an exceptional opportunity to test the decontamination process in very challenging conditions with the participation of almost the entire battalion, representing dozens of different types of vehicles and hundreds of combat troops," commented platoon commander K. S. "It's a shot, the guys sweat under their masks, but it's definitely worth it," she added.

nato_04Picture: Decontamination of heavy equipment | eFP Battle Group Lithuania

"Representatives of the Lithuanian army were also interested in our activities and equipment on the spot. The CBRN capabilities are still being refined at the moment and are looking to their coalition partners for inspiration. In particular, they were impressed by the simplicity and efficiency of the decontamination process, as well as our new S-LOV radiation and chemical reconnaissance vehicles," said the commander of the multifunctional chemical protection platoon.

IMG_6600Picture: S-LOV-CBRN vehicle | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

IMG_6570Picture: The S-LOV-CBRN vehicle includes a reconnaissance robotic subsystem with a robot (seen in the rear of the vehicle in the photo) for remote CBRN as well as visual and acoustic reconnaissance of the surrounding area | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

The Czech Army units are operating in the Baltics as part of the allied Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). This mission is one of the main outcomes of the Warsaw Summit of July 2016. It consists of the creation of four enhanced battalion-strength battle groups deployed in US-led Poland, German-led Lithuania, Canadian-led Latvia and UK-led Estonia. The specific military contribution of the Member States is a confirmation of the national commitment under the NATO collective defence principle.

Picture: Moment from Rising Bull exercise | eFP Battle Group Lithuania

 Author: kpt. Petr Šabaka

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