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Army tests new CBRND gear

Army tests new CBRND gear

The 1 Recruit Training Battalion has delivered a CBRND basic course to personnel, using newly procured protective equipment.

The 1 Recruit Training Battalion has delivered a CBRND basic course to personnel, using newly procured protective equipment.

The Australian Army’s first chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRND) basic course has been delivered by 1 Recruit Training Battalion (1RTB), leveraging newly commissioned hardware.

The Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force have also commenced similar training at their respective entry-level establishments. 

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Major Arlo Meany, from the Land Combat Support Program in Army Headquarters reflected on the importance of CBRND training, which equips personnel with the skills to survive in a live threat environment.

“If there’s a direct fire threat, you put on your body armour,” MAJ Meany said. “If rain is forecast, you wear a japara.

“If there’s a risk of a chemical attack, you have your CBRN equipment on hand or it is worn. These allow the wearer to continue operating and achieve the mission.”

The new CBRND equipment is expected to enhance personnel protection, while also providing individual decontamination, and individual chemical and radiation detection capability. 

The respirators are reportedly “more user-friendly” than older versions, which required personnel to hold their breath while changing canisters.

“With the new low-burden mask, as the canister is removed, the mask automatically seals,” MAJ Meany added.

“So, if the wearer accidently takes a breath, it will just suck the mask tighter to their face.”

The new gear, which has the Australian Multicam Camouflage Uniform pattern, comes with a new decontamination mitt, large fibre wipe that absorbs chemicals, skin decontamination lotion, and a liquid decontaminant that neutralises chemical agents. 

For the first time, the CBRND course was delivered primarily by contracted instructors lead by international defence and technology company Leidos, which MAJ Meany said would provide relief to instructors at 1RTB, while also ensuring the training is consistent for the weekly course.

Paul Chase, chief executive Leidos Australia said, “Leidos is proud to facilitate the training with staff from 1 RTB which is considerably enhancing and modernising CBRN defence.”

Leidos is also expected to manage the transport, maintenance and storage of the equipment, including cleaning and servicing between training serials.

The same equipment will be used for officer training at the Royal Military College using ADF CBRN instructors. 

The handover of the equipment marks the first delivery of operational and training CBRND gear under the LAND 2110-1B project, designed to prepare and equip deployable elements up to brigade size. 

The remaining equipment is scheduled to be released in batches from late 2021 until mid-2022.

[Related; 8/9RAR ramps up urban warfare training]

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