- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Students take part in live chemical and biological environment
by Capt Kyle Keffer
During the first week of October, students from the Department of Applied Military Science’s Land Force Technical Staff Programme and the Army Technical Warrant Officers’ (ATWO) course were able to put four weeks of classroom theory into practice as they carried out live agent training at the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) facility located at CFB Suffield, Alberta.
Although better known for its large training area and lack of trees, Suffield is also recognized internationally for its leading edge research, into chemical, biological and radiological defence. In addition to research, DRDC carries out advance CBRN training for many of the country’s first responders, through the Counter Terrorism Technology Centre. During our time at the facility, students had the opportunity to inspect and carry out testing on samples of live nerve agents, like VX, and blister agents, such as Lewisite and Mustard.
After working with these agents in the laboratory, we donned personal protective equipment to carry out a practical exercise in a hot zone, which included the decontamination of a light armored vehicle laced with Mustard gas.
The benefits of working in a live chemical and biological environment become quickly apparent as we discovered that CF doctrine, training and equipment are extremely effective in dealing with the dangers that are inherent with exposure to live agents.
Allowing students to experience the practical aspects of what they are being taught in the classroom is also a key part of what our staff calls “The AMS advantage”. “Students are given the skills and knowledge to understand the impact of new capabilities on doctrine, and operational concepts so they can play key roles in developing the CF of tomorrow,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Sylvain Beauséjour, chief of curriculum development at AMS.
In the case of CBRN, there are few places where students can get practical experience before they come to AMS, which is why the training at Suffield is so important.
I've always wanted to go on a course at those facilities. Call me crazy but it sounds like fun. :uhh: