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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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Camp Pendleton conducts HAZMAT exercise

By Pfc. Dylan Overbay | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | September 20, 2016


Camp Pendleton conducted a hazardous materials exercise at the old Naval Hospital grounds by Lake O’Neill, Sept. 20.

More than 30 personnel from the ARNORTH San Antonio team, the San Diego County Hazardous Incident Response Team, the U.S. Army’s 9th Civil Support Team and the Camp Pendleton Fire Department HAZMAT team participated in the exercise.

“They will be responding to a basic HAZMAT call, and the object of the call is to enhance the response capabilities as a multi-agency function,” said Johnny Wirsig, CBRN-E operations at Marine Corps Installation – West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “We are going to do a recon, size up the situation and react as necessary.”

The exercise was designed to train the teams in how to respond and react to a hazardous material call, and the teams were evaluated on their performance and their procedures in resolving the situation.

“We are doing training and being evaluated on how we do our job as far as the level we are supposed to do it,” said Sgt. Alfonso Anaya, a Chemical Soldier with 9th CST.

“Being part of the initial team is a little bit of a risk because we don’t know what is down range it could be an IED down there,” said Anaya.

The exercise was also designed to increase the interoperability between the different groups involved.

“These response exercises do enhance our capability and give as an opportunity to work with our outer jurisdictions and to better prepare us for operations and readiness,” said Wirsig. “We work close hand and hand with San Diego HIRT and we have this awesome asset, the 9th CST that we would like to continue to work with as well.”