Army Takes Command Of Military's Counter Chemical Team

The military's Chemical, Biological, Radiological And Nuclear capability was formerly under the command of the RAF.

The Army has taken command of the military's counter Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) team from the Royal Air Force.

The team's skills played a key role in decontaminating Salisbury following the attack with the nerve agent Novichok last year.

An estimated 600-800 specially trained military personnel, including the Joint CBRN Task Force, were involved in the clean-up, named 'Operation Morlop'.

28 Engineer Regiment has been re-formed to become the lead for counter Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear activity from Monday.

It will work with Falcon Squadron and 27 Squadron RAF Regiment's CBRN specialists based at RAF Honington.

Falcon Squadron is the British Army’s only mounted counter-CBRN unit and is a sub-unit of 22 Engineer Regiment.

The move has been in progress since the Strategic Defence Review of 2015 concluded that a chemical attack was more likely to be ground-based and as such counter-CBRN should be commanded by the Army.

The importance of a counter-CBRN capability has been highlighted both in the conflict in Syria and the Salisbury attack in the UK.

The military was deployed last year in response to the incident which saw former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury.

The pair were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury - both were left seriously ill but have since recovered.

Decontamination work in the city was declared complete a month ago.