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NAVAL SUPPORT FACILITY INDIAN HEAD, Md.? Marines and sailors of Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force, show Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the 16th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, rope rescue techniques March 18. Kent spoke with the Marines and sailors on upcoming changes, such as the new combat fitness test, which is a new way of measuring a Marines combat fitness, and the Marine Corps? new physical fitness apparel. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Leslie Palmer) (RELEASED)

Photo by Cpl. Leslie Palmer

Senior enlisted Marine visits CBIRF Marines, sailors

27 Mar 2008 | Cpl. Leslie Palmer

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent recently visited Marines and sailors of Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force. During the visit, he passed along encouraging words and expressed his gratitude for the unit’s commitment and service to the country and Corps.

“CBIRF is the key to any chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive attack in the United States,” Kent said. “This unit is capable of deploying on a moment’s notice, and that is very important.”

The 16th sergeant major of the Marine Corps addressed the unit, impacting many young Marines.

“It made an impression on me when he said our mission at CBIRF is important, that we could get called at any moment, that we have a purpose here,” said Cpl. Leah-Anne M. Chumbiray, training noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Service Company.

The purpose of CBIRF is to save lives in the event a CBRNE incident, and it’s something these Marines and sailors continually train for. During Kent’s visit, he acknowledged the unique role of CBIRF in Global War on Terrorism.

“There will always be some type of unit like this. CBIRF is one of those units that does it better than any other,” he said.

Though CBIRF appears to be strictly involved in homeland defense, the unit is capable of deploying to a combat zone. Staff Sgt. Anthony Hackett, training chief, Technical Rescue Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, said CBIRF plays a major role in protecting the homeland.

“We fill a capability gap many civilian responders aren’t equipped to handle in a large scale chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive incident,” Hackett said.

While Kent spent time speaking with Marines and learning about CBIRF’s training, Chumbiray noticed the significance of the senior enlisted Marine addressing the welfare and concerns of all Marines.

Kent spoke about the reenlistment bonuses Marines are receiving, increases in basic housing allowances, and the advantages of adding more Marines to the Corps. By doing so, Marines coming back from combat zones will be afforded more time to rest before going on another deployment.

“It’s nice to know that he is working for more benefits for the family and Marines in general. It looked like it lifted their spirits, and that’s important,” Chumbiray said.

Near the end of his visit, Kent talked about upcoming changes in the Corps, such as the new challenges of the combat fitness test, the new physical fitness apparel, and the role as America’s force in readiness.

“These Marines and sailors at CBIRF are very important. They fill very key billets right now, as far as protecting our nation is concerned. Their job is very important for our nation,” said Kent.