ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 16, 2014) -- U.S. Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) visited members of Team CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) May 12 to check out the latest developments in chemical and biological defense.

Senior leadership from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Chemical Defense hosted Ruppersberger, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Carmen Spencer, director of JPEO-CBD, and COL Kevin Pitzer, deputy commanding general of MRICD, briefed Ruppersberger on the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, a WMD-elimination technology currently aboard the MV Cape Ray in Spain, awaiting orders to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

ECBC and JPEO have more than 40 highly trained and specialized personnel supporting the unprecedented field operation, a joint mission between the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations.

Ruppersberger also received information on the Joint U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, known as the JUPITR, program. Led by the JPEO-CBD and supported by ECBC, JUPITR will provide unique biological detection capabilities to address the demand for stronger biosurveillance on the Korean Peninsula. This is in support of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-21, which states that biological threats could take many forms, including naturally occurring disease outbreaks.

The JUPITR program introduces new instrumentation that is cheaper and increases the speed and ease of biosurveillance equipment for the USFK. JUPITR's presence on the Korean Peninsula aligns with the Joint Force's strategy to rebalance military efforts toward the Asia-Pacific region.

Joseph Wienand, director of ECBC, highlighted the Edgewood Area's unique laboratory infrastructure and capabilities on APG as a center of excellence for chemical and biological defense research and technology. Ruppersberger also received a classified threat briefing on potential defenses against evolving threats to national security.