Soldiers from the 1st Medical Brigade participated in Guardian Response 19 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, April 28-May 7.
GR 19 was a field training exercise that certified the 1st Med. Bde. could assume the role of Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Response Force.
Joint Task Force Medical trained on its mission command abilities for subordinate units, and this exercise was the culmination point of the brigade’s training, prior to the brigade achieving DCRF status on June 1.
Capt. Anthony Osborne, battle captain for JTF MED and brigade CBRNE officer, had a crucial role during the exercise and he set the tone of the whole event.
“It was my duty to track operations, monitor the battle field, track troop movements, review plans and orders, ensure hit times were met and make CBRN recommendations to the commander based on analysis,” Osborne said.
JTF MED’s mission was to react to a real-world CBRN threat within the United States.
“JTF MED is here in response to a simulated nuclear detonation in vicinity of Detroit, Michigan, and tasked to provide health service support and force health protection in support of Department of Defense forces and civil authorities in order to save lives, minimize suffering and enable community recovery,” Osborne said.
The simulated disaster allowed Soldiers to operate under conditions expected if a catastrophic event occurred. This training is pivotal due to the unit’s new role in the coming months for the next year.
“This exercise highlighted the importance of readiness as key to mission success,” Chief Warrant Officer 2 Yury Erolysky, a veterinary services food safety officer, 1st Med. Bde., said. “It helped us to understand our advantages and shortcoming and helped us prioritize our areas of emphasis as we assume mission to ensure the brigade can identify gaps in personnel, equipment and capabilities.”
The experience not only tested and trained the unit to assume the DCRF mission, it also developed joint operability readiness.
1st Med. Bde. and its subordinate unit, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, trained with Air Force Expeditionary Medical Support System, TF Operations, TF Logistics, TF Aviation and Joint Task Force – Civil Support.
“Should CBRN incident occur, our brigade must respond with the purpose of right force, right response right expertise to save lives and mitigate suffering,” Erolysky said.