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News | June 17, 2024

Defense Threat Reduction Agency concluded the Military Civilian Health Security Summit cohosted with Defence Australia

By Andrea Chaney Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Today the Defense Threat Reduction Agency concluded the Military Civilian Health Security Summit cohosted with Defence Australia with keynote speakers from the White House Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy, World Health Organization, and DTRA’s Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP). Dr. Ada Bacetty, BTRP Department Chief, said getting such a broad representation of countries from across the Indo-Pacific region in one room discussing how to close the gap between military and civilian sectors to make the world safer is a huge success in and of itself. “The benefit of early and strong networks is that we create an enduring connection where you can rely on the country to the right, left, north, and south of you because we all have a similar common operating picture, system, and actions by which we are galvanizing a response to a bio-related incident,” Bacetty said. “Resources are finite, and BSL-3 are expensive to operate and maintain. An effective network means you’re never alone in the fight against the common enemy -- high threat biological pathogens. We each have a mission. Ours is to protect the United States, our Armed Forces and our allies by strengthening their capacities and capabilities to prevent, deter, and prevail against biological threats. And that’s what we are all doing with this week’s summit -- together!” she said. 
Bacetty’s remarks were echoed by her Canadian counterpart Mr. Trevor Smith, Deputy Director, Weapons Threat Reduction Program, Global Affairs Canada. Smith discussed how the Global Partnership and its members are also working hard to bridge the divide between the health and security sectors to strengthen global health security.
Wrapping up the summit, the civilian, defense, and security sector attendees participated in collaborative breakout sessions focused on the military/security-civilian interface in preparedness and response to bio-related health security emergencies to include challenges and opportunities with biosurveillance, biosafety, biosecurity, and laboratory networks.
“Discussions like we had today, allow us as a community to identify shared challenges, priorities, and opportunities,” said Mr. Andrew Hollands, BTRP Indo-Pacific Division Chief.  “We also are able to highlight successes in multisectoral approaches and form the basis for future collaborative opportunities,” said Hollands.
Established in 2018, the MCHSS symbolizes a unified commitment to address global health security challenges and provides an opportunity for participants to share valuable insights and enhance regional readiness by improving coordination and collaboration between military and civilian entities.


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