In the 21st century, terrorists and rogue states are constantly looking for opportunities to attack the United States, our citizens and our allies. They might be looking to achieve a tactical victory, but weapons of mass destruction are just as often used to achieve symbolic victories. Some of our adversaries look to exploit the freedoms of our open society in order to launch an attack. Others see the might of the U.S. military and decide to use WMD to gain the upper hand. Regardless of their reasons, their tactics or their target, we must defend ourselves, our troops and our allies against weapons of mass destruction.

A good defense does not rely upon a single layer or protection, but looks to prevent or stop an attack as far away from home as possible.  In order to do this effectively, we must detect, identify and track weapons of mass destruction as soon as possible, and as far away from the United States, our troops and our allies as possible. We do this with intelligence, with science, with partner nations, and with some of the newest cutting-edge technology out there – and if it doesn’t exist, sometimes we end up inventing it.

Our scientists have discovered revolutionary means of protecting our warfighters on the front line. We have pioneered new techniques to eliminate weapons of mass destruction that would have been considered impossible a year ago. And if the United States is left with no other option, we provide our military leaders with the knowledge, training and weapons developed specifically to target, reach and eliminate the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. Defending our nation, our warfighters, and our allies and partners against weapons of mass destruction is a constant challenge when our adversaries are constantly creating new weapons, new ways to use them, and picking new targets – but defending against WMD is what you do when your job is Making the World Safer.

JIDO: Combating the Ever-Evolving Improvised Threat

In the Fall of 2016, DTRA’s mission expanded to address another type of weapon that is heavily favored by terrorists, non-state actors and rogue states: the Improvised Explosive Device, or IED. When U.S. forces started encountering road-side bombs, car bombs, and other improvised explosive devices favored by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military stood up task forces to counter the threat posed by this pervasive weapon. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization brought all the resources together when it was created in 2006, and JIEDDO quickly became a rapid-reaction organization that brought new tools and training to our front line forces.

Now known as the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, JIDO adds to DTRA’s mission as a Combat Support Agency by tackling the ever-evolving IED threat with a three-pronged attack: quickly develop and field a wide variety of tools to defeat IEDs; train service members on how to use the right tools and techniques to defeat IEDs; and attack the network of IEDs by collecting, analyzing and sharing operational data.

Like WMD, IEDs are becoming the weapon of choice for violent extremists fighting on an asymmetric battlefield. JIDO recognizes the need to sustain efforts that enable the defeat of improvised threats globally, and further enable troops’ preparation to counter such threats when they arise. JIDO preserves JIEDDO’s warfighter-recognized brand, keeps its purpose to rapidly provide capabilities to a joint force, and informs a proactive, threat-defeat approach. JIDO is an enduring capability bringing to bear a rapid, flexible and innovative machine with the ability to help warfighters adapt to battlefield surprise.

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