News | May 24, 2022

Azerbaijan Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Security Cooperation

By DTRA PA Defense Threat Reduction Agency

In the second half of April, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) led two Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) training events in Azerbaijan in support of the United States European Command (USEUCOM).  The DTRA team guided a National Response Framework Seminar and conducted a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Awareness Course for the Ministry of Emergency Services of Azerbaijan.  The training built on past U.S.-Azerbaijan cooperative efforts, expanded the CWMD knowledge of a key international partner, and emphasized the importance of interagency cooperation and strategic planning for CWMD and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) incident response.  The events are part of a multi-year effort to train and equip Azerbaijan to respond effectively to WMD incidents.

The National Response Framework Seminar was a critical step forward for DTRA to partner with Azerbaijan improving regional CWMD security.  Senior-level participants from various Ministries within Azerbaijan discussed WMD and how to coordinate their response to a natural disaster, or an act of terrorism.  The shared commitment to this goal was demonstrated when General-Major Niyazi Zamanov, Head of the Main Department for the Organization of Civil Defense of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, personally welcomed participants to the seminar and requested participants share lessons learned with their respective agencies.  The seminar’s interactive format introduced participants to executive-level planning through the lens of the National Response Framework used in the United States.  The seminar focused on the areas of CWMD, incident command, and CBRN response and recovery to allow participants to evaluate the ability of their respective organizations to effectively manage and coordinate a whole-of-government crisis response. 

The WMD Awareness course marked a transition from the strategic to the tactical level for CWMD Response.  The participants received training on the CBRN threat environment, international marking standards, and protection measures for the local populous.  This training established a common operating picture between our participants and instructors and sets them up for success as we transition to equipment delivery and training.

The events were a great success and well received by Azerbaijani leadership.  The participants greatly appreciated DTRA’s efforts and expressed their anticipation for future-focused training on the CBRN Reconnaissance and Mass Casualty Decontamination equipment packages set for delivery later this year.