Brazilian Army Strengthens Chemical Emergency Preparedness in Portuguese-Speaking Countries

Troops of brazilian armys 1st Chemistry, Biology, Radiology, and the Nuclear Defense Battalion (1st Btl DQBRN) participated as instructors in the basic course on chemical incident emergency response for Portuguese speaking countries in AngolaJune 27-July 1. The OrganisOrganization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) organized the course with the to coordinateion of National Authority for Arms Control and Disarmament of theof the Angolan government Ministry of National Defense and Country Veterans.

Five instructors, three Brazilian soldiers from the 1st Army Btl DQBRN and two Angolans, taught the course. (Photo: Brazilian Army Social Communication Center)

In addition to Brazil and Angola, military, civilian firefighters, customs, medical professionals and dangerous property specialists Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Portugal also participated. This was the first such course organized by a Portuguese-speaking African country. Five instructors taught the course, three Brazilians from the 1st Btl DQBRN and two Angolans.

The Brazilian Army Social Communication Center (CCOMSEx) atld Dialogo in a statement than the 1st Btl DQBRN, which vscelebrate her 70e anniversary in 2023, has implemented a excellent relations with the OPCW, becominging a reference for other institutions working in this sector. It’s all down to the militarys Chemical, Biological, Radiological established and mature, and the Nuclear Defense System, designed in 1989, whose structure makes it possible to haveup-to-date doctrine, state-of-the-art and highly specialized equipment workforce, CCOMSEx said.

According to statement, troops of the 1st Btl DQBRN exploited in one of the largest radiological accident in the worldwide, whenCesium 137, a radioactive isotope which occurs as a nuclear split from other radioactive materials such as uranium andplutonium, has been removed from its protective housing in the city of Goiânia, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, in 1987. The CCOMSEx also mentioned the participation of the 1st Btl DQBRN in national and international fairs, courses, exercises, and workshops, and participation in the review and development of lawsrelated to disarmament and CBRN non-proliferation conventions and treaties.

The battalion is also a member of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Organization network of experts to combat CBRN threats and its members participate as chemical weapons advisers and inspectors in peacekeeping missions, in addition to promoting courses for the armed forces of partner countries such as Spain, the United States, and Portugal. In 2017, the OPCW has designated Brazil as headquarters for the Regional Center for Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons gLatin American and Caribbean group States (GRULAC).

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The inauguration of the course brought together representatives from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Portugal. (Photo: Brazilian Army Social Communication Center)

Training in Angola mainly covered theoretical instruction with subjects such as the principles of skin and respiratory protection, chemical warfare agents and their toxicological effects, specialized medical treatment in chemical emergencies and the chemical incident control system.

However, there is was too handson training, such as personal protective equipment; Detection and sampling in contaminated areas; and decontamination of personnel, equipment and facilities, and Domains, CCOMSEx said. For the Brazilian army, at the international level, the event represents a valuable opportunity to strengthen the image of the Iand Force with the CPLP [Community of Portuguese Language Countries] and the OPCW, to validate the quality of his workforcespecialized in CBRN.”

A second phase, the Advanced course on chemical incident emergency responsefor Portuguese-speaking countriesis scheduled for 2023, to be held in Portugalsaid the Brazilian army. For the rest of this yearthe 1st Btl DQBRN will provide training in assistance and protection against chemical weapons for members of the GRULAC group countries, at the request of the Inter-American Defense Board and the POC.W..