472nd Chemical Battalion
The 472nd Chemical Battalion wartime mission is to deploy by air, rail and sea to Southwest Asia Theatre to provide cover and concealment to maneuver units by the generation of smoke. The battalion can offer decontamination support to division and corps units by eliminating contaminants and getting troops back onto the battlefield. The 472nd Chemical Battalion mission is to provide command and control of two to five chemical companies (reconnaissance, decontamination, mechanized/motorized smoke). The 472d Chemical Battalion Headquarters' is housed in the SGT James W. Robinson Reserve Center in Chicago.
The 472d Chemical Battalion offers challenging training on smoke and decontamination operations for individuals interested in joining the Army Reserve Chemical Corps and U.S. Army postal operations for Judge Advocate Corps members.
The 472nd Chemical Battalion developed an aggressive plan for recruitment. Members of the battalion established a partnership with the St. Louis Recruiting Battalion and the South Holland Recruiting Station in conjunction with Alert 99/2K. The battalion set up military display booths at many area high schools and colleges. At the Glenbard East High School and Chicago International Charter Schools, the battalion generated 56 referrals for local recruiters in March of 1999. Members of the 472nd also set up displays at the Oak Lawn Community Fest, The Champaign County Fair, The Georgetown Fair and the Air and Water Show in Chicago in 1999. According to Captain Kelly Thies of the 472nd, all of these events generated numerous leads for recruiters.
The 472nd is heavily involved in the local community. Members of the battalion have participated in and sponsored many local events in their respective communities. For instance, at St. Paul Lutheran School in Forest Park, Illinois, members of the battalion taught classes in first aid and prevention of hot and cold weather injuries. The battalion hosted volleyball and basketball teams from Jordan Baptist Church, a Community Advisory Panel, the Chicago Police Department's surveillance training class, and the Boy Scouts of America's annual food drive as well as participating in their annual Boy Scout Jamboree. In 1999 alone, the battalion also participated in The Pause for Patriotism Celebration in Kankakee, Illinois; the Tinley Park Veterans of Foreign Wars annual Orland Days Parade; the Carpenterville, Illinois Flag Day Memorial dedication, and provided numerous funeral details to present flags to next of kin.
The 472nd played host to a planning conference for the Rio Grande exercise in 1999. Members of the battalion then attended planning sessions in Dallas, Texas and a terrain walk at Fort Bliss, Texas. In conjunction with the exercise, the 472nd conducted rail load and rail unloading operations out of the South Chicago rail yards.
The 326th and 331st Adjutant General [AG] (Postal) Companies report to the 472nd Battalion, but have a different mission and wartime trace than the 472nd. Both the 326th and the 331st AG (Postal) Companies conducted a duty-training mission in Germany during 1999.
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