BRUCHSAL, Germany — This spring, the 48th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Brigade, out of Fort Hood, and the Bundeswehr CBRN Defense Command, out Bruchsal, Germany, will execute the partnering exercise Dragon Fire in Washington, Oregon and Utah. To ensure its success, officers and non-commissioned officers from the 48th CBRN Brigade and the CBRN Defense Command sat down to plan Dragon Fire in Bruchsal, Dec. 12-16.
Elements from the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, will also provide forces to the exercise.
“Our presence here and the exercise we will do reaffirms the alliance between our two countries,” Col. Christopher Cox, commander of the 48th CBRN Brigade, said. “We need to do these trainings more frequently. The 20th (CBRNE Command), the brigade (48th CBRN), and your battalions (Germans)… We need to be rotating through these technical exercises. These kinds of exercises will require you to think through much more of a technical problem than you will ever get a combined training center,” Cox said during his opening comments for the planning session.
For the exercise, German Lt. Col. Dirk Veeck, German liaison officer at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, will serve as the deputy commanding officer for the 48th CBRN Brigade, and a German CBRN group will integrate with one U.S. company to maximize their capabilities.
“Become partners, become allies and understand each other’s strengths and weakness because we may have limitations as individual armies, but we can actually maximize our capabilities together,” Cox told the planners.
This exercise will serve as the culmination training event for the 22nd CBRN Battalion (Technical Escort) following their restationing this past summer.
“Dragon Fire will be a culmination of 18 month restationing effort and rebuilding of the command,” Lt. Col. Tim Druell, commander, 22nd CBRN Battalion, said. “I cannot imagine a better location and exercise for this organization to partner with and engage with our ally.”
Dragon Fire is expected to test the limits of the CBRN soldiers in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards.