ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The Under Secretary of the Army, Joseph W. Westphal, Ph.D., visited the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's chemical biological center March 28 as part of a demonstration organized by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.

Tim Blades, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center's Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction Business Unit operations director, met with Westphal. The tour included several destruction equipment static displays that have been used on past deployments around the world for the elimination of chemical agents. The rapid prototype integration facility also displayed recent engineering designs for new prototype elimination systems.

Westphal toured the Prototype Detonation and Test Destruction Facility, which showed the Army's capability to provide field deployable solutions for weapons of mass destruction elimination.

A field site was set up to illustrate the kinds of deployable equipment -- the vapor containment structure, electrical generators, chemical agent filtration systems and the Multiple Power Distribution System --used to support an elimination or remediation mission onsite at home and abroad.

"ECBC's role was to provide some visibility of our rapid prototyping solutions for weapons of mass destruction elimination," Blades said. "We've been working with [Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division] for the last two months on a high-priority project and it has really been an excellent learning experience. ADM has some neat design tools that have worked well with the things that CBARR does."

CBARR's partnership with the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Division within ECBC's Engineering Directorate was part of the reason for Westphal's visit.

Officials said the center's highly-skilled workforce has expertise in research and technology and engineering and operations as well as a proven history of successful field remediation missions.

"This is the first time CBARR is working with ADM in this capacity," Blades said. "It's a collaborative effort to formulate a concept into a working solution, and they've really been a part of that. Working together we can take a problem, figure out the tool that best works for the job, test it using ADM's rapid prototyping capability and then implement it into our missions--and that's pretty powerful."

The rapid prototyping capability allows CBARR maintenance technicians, operators and chemists to work with ADM's engineers to design new solutions for elimination, he said.

During his visit, Westphal met with Soldiers and civilians, and emphasized the role Team CBRNE has in informing the national defense and protecting the Warfighter and society against CBRNE threats.

Team CBRNE is comprised of ECBC, JPEO-CBD, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency -- Joint Science and Technology Office, the 20th Support Command, the Chemical Materials Activity, Program Executive Office-Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, and the U.S. Army Public Health Command.