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CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

How has COVID-19 impacted the delivery of military CBRN training?

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 25-Aug-2020 13:00:00

As the world continues to grapple with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, discussion has inevitably turned to the possible threat to global military capability, both in the short-term and further down the line.

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, we saw the scaling back, the postponement and the temporary suspension of a number of military operations - including the cancellation of joint exercises, a reduction in provision of basic training and the repositioning of troops into a larger number of smaller bases.

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The value of live demonstrations in countering emerging CBRN threats

Written by Steven Pike on 16-Jun-2020 13:00:00

Military organisations worldwide face the ongoing challenge of training against a multitude of emerging, complex and increasingly unpredictable chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

Effective and cohesive CBRN response relies on substantial planning and preparation that takes into account the wide variety of detection, response and recovery phases of an incident.

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CBRNe Convergence 2018: what to see and do

Written by Steven Pike on 10-Oct-2018 13:00:00

Argon Electronics will be among the global CBRNe and HazMat professionals at the eleventh annual CBRNe Convergence which takes place in Orlando, Florida, from November 6th to 8th, 2018.

This year's event brings together leading world experts in the fields of WMD, chemical attacks, biological weapons and HazMat - with the programme of activities tying together on the theme of the merging of military and civilian response to CBRNe and IED threats.

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How CBRN training with simulators reduces reliance on PPE

Written by Steven Pike on 12-Sep-2018 14:00:00

With the increasing prevalence of the use of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) in conflicts, the need for hands-on training in the use of detector equipment is even more crucial in ensuring that military personnel are able to respond quickly, safely and effectively to live incidents.

An ideal way to achieve operational readiness is to provide realistic training exercises that use detector simulators and software to demonstrate the nature, challenges and unpredictability of the threats and the environments that soldiers may be exposed to.

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The benefit of simulator training for CBRN reconnaissance vehicles

Written by Steven Pike on 06-Sep-2018 12:35:18

The primary task of a CBRN reconnaissance vehicle crew is to confirm the presence of a potential chemical warfare agent (CWA) and to report that information to their command structure for analysis.

The intelligence that a crew provides to its Cell Controller is crucial in enabling senior officers to make mission-critical decisions on where, or where not, to deploy their forces within a battle space.

A CBRN reconnaissance vehicle creates a cocoon of relative 'safety' for its crew. But it is also a challenging environment in which to operate.

The vehicles can be cramped and uncomfortable, there is the risk of exposure to toxic hazards, the danger of direct attack by enemy forces, and the potential for the malfunctioning of the vehicle's Collective Protection (COLPRO) system.

For these reasons, simulator training for CBRN reconnaissance vehicles can have a vital role to play in providing CBRN personnel with the most realistic - and safe - training experiences possible.

In this blog post we explore the role of simulators in CBRN reconnaissance vehicle field training and we discuss the features of the four primary simulator training options currently available.

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What to look for in a simulator detector system for CBRN training

Written by Steven Pike on 04-Sep-2018 14:00:00

The threat of an accidental or deliberate release of a hazardous material (HazMat) or Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) is increasingly being recognized as an acute global challenge.

In the event of an incident, swift detection and response is crucial. And the accuracy and quality of the information obtained - and how that information is communicated up the chain of command - is of paramount importance.

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How hands-on experience with PPE aids chemical warfare agent training

Written by Steven Pike on 30-Aug-2018 14:00:00

The ability to deliver realistic, engaging and safe Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) training is a vital element of preparing service personnel for live experiences in the field.

Military crews, first response teams and hazardous materials (HazMat) personnel are regularly called on to lead responses in contaminated environments, and at significant personal risk.

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What is the difference between HazMat and CBRNe?

Written by Steven Pike on 14-Aug-2018 14:00:00

Although HazMat (hazardous materials) and CBRNe (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) emergency response share certain common ground, there have always traditionally been some fundamental differences in terms of the focus, method and priorities of each approach.

While HazMat incidents may have typically comprised smaller-scale, accidental and non-weaponized events, for example, CBRNe missions have tended to be in response to the deliberate use of chemical warfare agents (CWAs), often under battlefield conditions and within the context of planned, special intelligence operations.

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Key facts about the CBRN Exhibition 2018

Written by Steven Pike on 11-Jun-2018 13:00:00

Argon's award-winning instrumented CBRNe exercise systems PlumeSim and PlumeSIM-SMART will be among the array of innovative technologies available to see live in action at the fifth annual CBRN Exhibition in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, this June.

Visitors will also be able to view Argon's range of simulators for the Smiths Detection M4 JCADandM4A1 JCAD chemical agent detectors - as well as a selection of simulation probes for the Canberra/MirionAN/PDR-77, AN/VDR-2andRDS100 radiation detection systems.

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What essential equipment is required for radiation safety training?

Written by Steven Pike on 25-Jan-2018 14:00:14

Radiation safety training has a crucial role to play in ensuring effective response to any radiological incident, whether it be large or small, accidental or deliberate.

When dealing with live radiation incidents, CBRNe personnel and first responders rely on two essential items of equipment to enable them to monitor radiation dose and their individual dose rate - a survey meter and a personal dosimeter.

While these pieces of instrumentation are both fairly straightforward to use, the challenge for CBRNe instructors is to be able to provide trainees with the chance to test their practical knowledge of their detectors in the context of realistic training exercises.

It’s also vital that trainees understand the full significance of any detector readings which may initiate decisions, and that they are comfortable with changes of units in measurement, shielding, survey, contamination avoidance and decontamination procedures.

Unlike other types of safety training scenarios where simulants or live sources can be used to simulate a specific threat, there is no alternative to radiation that can replicate a reading on an actual unmodified radiation detector. So what options exist that can enable users to experience every operational feature of an actual detector in as realistic a setting as possible?

In this blog post we explore the unique features of survey meters and personal dosimeters and offer suggestions for suitable replacements which can be used to create an authentic trainee experience when undertaking radiation safety training exercises.

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