CBRN Defense Keeping the Army at par with Global Trends.

    thumbnailAccording to a popular CBRN magazine there would be a huge demand of CBRN defense for the forecast period (2018-2023). The Global Market Trends on CBRN defense in Asia-Pacific expects growth in CBRN Defense detection of CBRN Defense Protective suits, contamination meter, CBRN defense vehicles and containment capsules. Four years after the receipt of full suite of CBRN Equipment from the United States to capacitate the Philippine Army on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protection, and detection. The unit continues to be operational in full scale in meeting the demands coping with the global trends. Aside from the regular Civil Support Operation, the platoon size CBRN unit of the Philippine Army had an addition to its baggage. There’s a felt need to expand size and capability of the CBRN Platoon. The unit’s mission essential equipment are now exposed to combined arms operations, another international engagement with US counterparts, and in the first CBRN In-Service training.
    The recent appreciation of CBRN Defense poses a vital role in the interplay of 1st Brigade Combat Team (1st BCT) in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Environment where CBRN specialists are exposed to combined arms operations. The attached CBRN team incorporates protection expertise to address concerns on weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Though limited in capability, the presence of the unit to sustain Army operations shed a different picture to combined arms commander (CAC) about the CBRN environment. However, detectors and decontamination kits are still source from the original suite to accommodate requirements of the 1st BCT resulting to dilute the operational readiness of the platoon.
    As a regular unit participation, the platoon opens its door to the visit of USMARFORPAC held on 11 to 15 February 2019 at Service Support Training School, Camp Servillano Aquino, Tarlac City. Their visit entails defense cooperation and development on Combined Emergency Management/ Crises Response and Tactical level SOPs Development together with the Mass Casualty Decontamination Platoon of 525th Combat Engineering Battalion. The activity focuses on the operational requirements of CBRNP-MCD interoperability during emergency situations and crisis. The five (5) days exercise was insightful and engaging that has led to the observation of counterparts on the absence of radiological and chemical detectors that were loaned to the CBRN Specialists performing in the Presidential Security Group.
    Dubbed as the First In-Service Training, the platoon initiates its infant CBRN specialization with topic experts and participants to the Philippine Army. Though not offered locally, the CBRN Cadre Development Course replicates the combined CBRN trainings to equip CBRN specialist on further instructor development. It is also a pilot test to capacitate new recruits with local version of CBRN training that will prepare them on their future deployment as CBRN Specialist. With the increase in number of new recruits and status quo of CBRN detectors and protective equipment there is a gap between the logistics and human resources. This would assume that training requirement is sufficient but would require number of equipment to prelude the upgrade of the platoon into CBRN Company.
    Under the AFP modernization program, LOT1 and LOT2 are expected to arrive this year to support efforts after the donation of CBRN equipment. The number of detectors and protective equipment can give a great variation in the flexibility of the CBRN platoon in the transition to Territorial Defense. Through regular exercises, civil support engagement and frequent utilization the four (4) years old donated equipment are near to elapse from its guaranteed effectivity. This would require the new Army Capability has to grow for sustainment to familiarize soldiers more in development of protection against terrorism while Philippines amass advance technologies. Further, the arrival and issuance of these logistical requirements will not only upgrade the tactical readiness of our soldiers but it will likewise boost their morals with the assurance that the promises of the AFP Modernization Program is finally being realized.

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