The 20th CBRNE Command (CBRNE—Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives), also called CBRNE Command, was activated 16 Oct. 2004, by U.S. Army Forces Command to provide specialized CBRNE response in support of military operations and civil authorities.
The U.S. Army Forces analyzed threats facing the US in both domestic and international contexts, and argued for the need to realign and expand the Army's CBRNE assets and capabilities. The CBRNE Command consolidates its unique assets under a single operational headquarters located in the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
CBRNE operations detect, identify, assess, render-safe, dismantle, transfer, and dispose of unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices and other CBRNE hazards. These operations also include decontaminating personnel and property exposed to CBRNE materials during response.
By consolidating these assets under one headquarters, the Army has more effective command and control of its specialized CBRNE elements. This alignment also eliminates operational redundancies and allows more efficient management and employment of these unique—but limited—resources.
The 20th CBRNE Command gives the Army and the nation a scalable response capability with the flexibility to operate in a variety of environments, from urban areas to austere sites across the spectrum of military operations. Subordinate elements include the 48th Chemical Brigade, the 52d Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) and the CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, known as CARA. These organizations support Combatant Commands and the Homeland in operations and contingencies throughout the world. At any time, 20 percent of the command is deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.