The building, called a BIDS (Biological Integrated Detection System), is being used for training by several U.S. Army reservists. Fitted with a small room, operators can get inside the structure and use its equipment to detect the presence of certain elements in the air, said Staff Sgt. Michael Brown, with the 310th CBRN Company.
CBRN stands for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear.
“If troops got sick, they’d call us in,” Brown explained Friday night as he stood outside the BIDS near State Mutual Stadium. “We tell them what they got sick from, so they could take medicine.”
The BIDS typically is placed near a large group of people, making the large, gravel area by the stadium — or the fairgrounds — an ideal training spot.
Brown and others trained during the day Friday, though actual use of the BIDS usually occurs at night. Heat from sunlight would impact the effectiveness of a chemical, Brown said.
Troops have trained with the BIDS in various locations, which gives soldiers necessary experience, said Sgt. First Class Elizabeth Breckenkamp, with the 209th Broadcast Operations Detachment.
“It is good to get training in lots of different locations,” she added. “If you train in the same place over and over, that doesn’t get you real-world experience.”