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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 1, 2022

Is your unit ready to respond in the event of a WMD/CBRN incident?

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

Is your unit ready to respond to an incident involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)? 

Now there’s a way you, or anyone else in the Coast Guard, can find out: Checking a new dashboard created by the Office of Specialized Capabilities (CG-721) and FORCECOM Audits, Inspections, and Assessment (AIA) compliance team. You can find it here.  

The color-coded dashboard and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) self- assessment tool will flash green or red, depending on whether your unit has completed the required CBRN training. This tool also informs commandant, area, district, and sector commanders, and commanding officers of who’s in compliance, and who’s not across the Coast Guard. 

Policy requires that all CBRN-equipped units get fit tested, conduct annual drills and AIA, and to participate in biennial training to enhance CBRN readiness. Earlier this fall, Vice Commandant Adm. Steven Poulin set a strong example when he was fit tested for the M-50 mask. Poulin and staff did this as part of a training session on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) that was organized by CWMD PPE Manager and Program Analyst, Ed Cables and Scott Hooley from the Special Missions Training Center in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  

While CBRN is not a statutory mission, CWMD Program Manager, Tom Murphy points out that it is an operating environment a member could encounter on any Coast Guard mission if dangerous substances are intentionally, accidentally, or naturally released. So, it’s essential that units be prepared. 

“The message is that if the Vice Commandant and other senior leaders are making the time to do this,” Cables said. “Then, everyone has time to do this.” 

For more information, see the CWMD Portal Page.