Live Agent Training

The threat of chemical warfare has diminished somewhat in recent years, but it never going away.All soldiers receive training on defense against chemical agents.  Certain soldiers, primarily in the Chemical Corps, receive training that involves exposing them to live nerve agents.

After that test we moved back to our assigned spots and activated a different testing tool that checks for vapor from the nerve agent.  We did this whole procedure twice and then moved on to testing the agent on a personal (dummy) weapon.

The cleansing of George.

In my buddy team, I was testing first and my buddy was holding the weapon.  I had completed the test and was in the process of decontaminating the weapon when my buddy, George (not his real name), makes the unmistakable sound of someone about to throw up.  The instructor was right next to us and he asked if he needed to throw up.  George said yes and made the sound again.  At this point the instructor told him to go ahead and throw up in his mask.  (it flows out of a one way valve at the bottom of the mask)  Of course, George did it, twice!  The instructor was immediately on the phone calling for evacuation of George.  We then looked down at the floor and saw it, bright RED.  We talked later and realized we were both thinking the same thing, “Oh no, he’s throwing up blood, this is really bad.”  Then almost as quick we both remembered that they had given us red Kool-Aid to drink prior to entering the chamber.  WHEW!!!

Thankfully, I never “enjoyed” this aspect of training.

5 thoughts on “Live Agent Training”

  1. this post can only be made better by the obligatory story about “well, our NBC NCO stole a real atropine injector from school and was demonstrating it and some FNG took it and injected it by mistake just like in basic and almost died” story….man, must of heard that in 3 different units!!

  2. No, the story you are thinking of is the “suicide by buffer out the window” tale. The atropine one is true, it happened to the buddy of a a guy I knew…

    On a different note, is the USMC’s CBIRF, which is their contingency Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, does live agent chemical training up in Canada, where there is wide open terrain away from any human habitation. They are a pretty good outfit, from my scanty dealings with them.

    1. They’re the guys that go charging into the high-rad zones after nuke strikes to dig survivors out of the rubble, right?

    2. When I was in the Navy we were told a story about a Marine finding an atropine injector who accidentally triggered it. The real point of the story was what the stuff would do to you if you had not been exposed to a nerve agent, not that Marines were dumb as rocks (although those stories were told often enough).

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