An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


News | Jan. 29, 2021

DTRA's Biological Threat Reduction Program works to improve biosurveillance, biosecurity, and biosafety in Iraq.

By Andrea Chaney Defense Threat Reduction Agency

The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) works to improve biosurveillance, biosecurity, and biosafety in Iraq. As part of this effort, BTRP provides support to Iraq’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) and conducts laboratory renovations, equipment procurement, and associated training for the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Higher Education. FETP develops Iraq’s field epidemiology workforce to rapidly identify and respond to outbreaks of especially dangerous pathogens. Despite delays caused by COVID-19, BTRP and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered to provide training and mentorship for Iraq’s first cohort of intermediate-level FETP residents, which included human health practitioners and veterinarians. This cohort graduated on January 16, 2021 and the ceremony was attended by Iraq’s Minister of Health and other senior officials who expressed appreciation for BTRP’s support. FETP reinforces sustainability and enhances Iraq’s ability to monitor and respond to outbreaks such as COVID-19.

Despite delays and movement restrictions caused by COVID-19, BTRP also successfully completed renovations, equipment procurement and associated training at the Muthanna Veterinary Laboratory in Iraq. This engagement improved security, safety, and diagnostic capacity at the lab. An opening ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to inaugurate the laboratory on January 21, 2021. The event was attended by key personnel such as the Muthanna province governor, the Iraqi Veterinary Directorate Director General, the Dean of Muthanna Veterinary College, the Muthanna Lab Director, the Baghdad Central Veterinary Lab Director, and Iraqi media representatives. BTRP’s laboratory engagements improve Iraq’s ability to safely detect dangerous pathogens and reduce the threat of violent extremist organizations gaining access to weaponizable biological material.



DTRA provides cross-cutting solutions to enable the Department of Defense, the United States Government, and international partners to deter strategic attack against the United States and its allies; prevent, reduce, and counter WMD and emerging threats; and prevail against WMD-armed adversaries in crisis and conflict.  

DTRA logo


Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn DTRA Webmail

8725 John J. Kingman Rd., Fort Belvoir, Va. 22060-6221

Welcome to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s website. If you are looking for the official source of information about the DoD Web Policy, please visit The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is pleased to participate in this open forum in order to increase government transparency, promote public participation, and encourage collaboration. Please note that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency does not endorse the comments or opinions provided by visitors to this site. The protection, control, and legal aspects of any information that you provided to establish your account or information that you may choose to share here is governed by the terms of service or use between you and the website. Visit the Defense Threat Reduction Agency contact page at Contact Us for information on how to send official correspondence.