Chemical and Biological Defense
A U.S. Navy chemical/biological defense officer helps a sailor don a joint-service lightweight integrated suit technology chemical-protective ensemble during a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training course. (U.S. Navy photo)
We must support the ongoing revolution in the life sciences by seeking to ensure that resulting discoveries and their applications, used solely for peaceful and beneficial purposes, are globally available. At the same time, we must be mindful of the risks throughout history posed by those who sought to misuse the products of new technologies for harmful purposes. Specifically, we must reduce the risk that misuse of the life sciences could result in the deliberate or inadvertent release of biological material in a manner that sickens or kills people, animals, or plants, or renders unusable critical resources. [ National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats, November 2009 ]
Nuclear warheads are not the only weapons of mass destruction threatening the United States and our allies. Because nuclear weapons require sophisticated technologies and elements difficult to obtain, our nation’s adversaries may find chemical and biological weapons more attractive.
DTRA and SCC-WMD are actively engaged in efforts to defend against chemical and biological weapons. Our work in this arena has global reach, impacting everyone from our men and women serving on the frontlines to American citizens in the heartland.
Protecting the Warfighter from Chemical and Biological Threats
DTRA and SCC-WMD are working hard to protect American warfighters and their allies from threats posed by chemical and biological weapons. They provide a wide spectrum of support to the military services, combatant commands and international partners, from innovating new technologies to detect chemical and biological threats, to developing new capabilities to protect them through programs such as the Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative.
Safeguarding the Homeland from Chemical and Biological Threats
Not only do chemical and biological threats imperil our nation’s warfighters and our allies; they are a danger to innocent civilians in the homeland and throughout the world.
Defending the country against chemical and biological threats presents a wide variety of challenges. DTRA works to tackle these challenges by partnering with interagency organizations such as the Department of Health and Human Services, to prepare for biological and chemical events. In cooperation with DoD and HHS, DTRA is using state-of-the-art technology and executing our first agent-based, high performance computational analysis system, which has resulted in a revolutionary pandemic influenza modeling capability. DTRA recently completed part of a significant study that looked at a nine region response effort with multiple interventions. The result of this study will help the U.S. prepare for a possible pandemic, and is a perfect example of DTRA’s Reachback capabilities, technical expertise and the value DTRA provides to other departments and agencies.