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1st BCT continues domestic action training
Troops focus on mission and prepare for Iraq
1ST Brigade Commander Col. Roger Cloutier participates in an exercise Dec. 10, at the CBIRF training facility in Indian Head, Md. The exercise was one of many the brigade has been assigned since taking on a support role in the CCMRF mission in October. - photo by U.S. Army photo
That's a mouthful

CBRNE is the C in CCMRF. The acronyms stand for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive Consequence Management Response Force.
It has been nearly five months since the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team took on a supportive role inside the United States.
In October, the 1st BCT was designated part of the Department of Defense’s first dedicated active duty force emergency response mission CCMRF. The brigade’s commander says he is certain his soldiers are ready and more than willing to respond anywhere in the country if needed.
“The real story should be about these soldiers,” Col. Roger Cloutier said. “I look at them and think, ‘where do we get these people?’ They have to be the greatest generation.”
Since being assigned with the mission a short time after returning from Iraq last spring, Cloutier said he has watched his soldiers train for CCMRF without complaint.
For them, the commander said, it is about knowing they could be helping their own people, on their own soil.
“This is very personal for everybody,” he said. “We all have loved ones somewhere else in the states. My dad lives in L.A., and if there was an earthquake, I know that I would be going to help him.”
Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lanier agrees with his commander.
His has relatives living in New York and Washington, D.C. He said 9/ 11 makes the CCMRF mission personal.
“Because of the catastrophe of Sept. 11 and what that did to our country, and having family in those areas, certainly it means more to me, but at the same time if there is someone who needs help anywhere in the country ... we are going to take care of them.”
For those reasons, Cloutier said soldiers such as Lanier have no problem making the sacrifice, even during what should be their dwell time.
The brigade, known as Task Force Operations, the largest component, for the CCMRF mission, has been training at Fort Stewart and other parts of the country since September.
As part of the CBRNE mission (which is operated by the Joint Task Force Civil Support in Fort Monroe, Va.), the brigade is responsible for supporting local governments and emergency responders in the event of a national emergency.
“Whether it is a chemical attack, a terrorist attack or an earthquake we are postured with experts and capabilities to assist state and local actors to manage that consequence – if they ask for it,” Cloutier said.
The colonel pointed out that despite what some beliefs may be about why the Department of Defense created a force specifically to deal with a major attack on American soil, it is important Americans understand the significance of having such an operation to cope with national emergencies.
“There were a lot of events that happened in the United States that showed we need to be prepared to handle or manage events that occur within the United States,” he said.
"I can’t speak beyond my brigade, but I can tell you that really it is prudent planning based on things that we’ve learned in the past, and instead of waiting and being in a reactionary mode, the government of the United States has said, ‘I want to develop a force, give them specific training and have them on standby in the event that something happens’.”
If something does happen, the colonel said he is more than certain his soldiers will respond effectively.
“I have seen the soldiers of this brigade operate for 15 months (in Iraq),” he said “I have watched them train for this mission, and there is a lot of cross-over, as far as humanitarian efforts and restoring infrastructure, between what they did in Iraq and what they are tasked with now,” he said. 
They have exceeded my expectations. If they call me now or an hour from now, I am more than confident that they are ready to go.”
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