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Army CBRNE Civilians Clear Way for Aerostat Operations

Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command cleared the way for an aerostat designed to track cruise missiles. Credit: 20th CBRNE Command

Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) recently conducted an unexploded ordnance and chemical clearance operation for an aerostat system designed to track cruise missiles.

Civilian unexploded ordnance specialists from the command’s CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity (CARA) conducted the operation, which required clearance of 44 acres for explosive and chemical hazards around the aerostat mooring site.

Made up entirely of Department of the Army civilians, CARA analyzes and remediates CBRNE threats around the world. The activity operates mobile theater laboratories, provides CBRNE training support, conducts Recovered Chemical Warfare Material remediation operations and provides technical escort aviation support of surety material.

Based in Maryland’s science, technology and security corridor on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, CARA is part of the 20th CBRNE Command, the U.S. Defense Department’s only formation that combats CBRNE threats around the world.

The tethered aerostat, known as the Joint Land Attack Cruise Defense Elevated Netted Sensor system or JLENS, is designed to protect the mid-Atlantic region from cruise missiles and other airborne threats.

Soldiers from Alpha Company, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Aberdeen Proving Ground to operate the JLENS aerostat.

The launching of the airborne aerostat surveillance system is part of a three-year test being conducted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD.

“CARA demonstrates the important role that Army civilians play in our one-of-a-kind command,” said Brig. Gen. JB Burton, commanding general of the 20th CBRNE Command.

“They serve our Army and our nation with great distinction and help us to provide ready, reliable and globally responsive CBRNE capabilities anytime and anywhere,” said Burton, a native of Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Article adapted from original by Walter Ham, 20th CBRNE Command.

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