By ECBC Communications OfficeJuly 29, 2014
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 29, 2014) -- Under Secretary of the Army Brad Carson toured Aberdeen Proving Ground to learn about the installation's expertise in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives defense.
As part of the tour, he visited the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center; the 20th CBRNE (Chemical, Biological,Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) Command; the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense; and the Program Executive Office Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives.
"It was a great opportunity for Under Secretary Carson to see the full breadth of the work done here at Edgewood," said Carmen Spencer, with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. "This kind of interagency collaboration is what makes us a center of excellence for chemical weapons of mass destruction. There is no other community like it in the nation."
Senior leaders of each organization briefed Carson on current and future efforts for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, known as WMDs, including the development of capabilities and new technologies like the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System. The FDHS is a new transportable WMD-elimination technology that uses proven neutralization processes to render bulk chemical agent as useless.
Two FDHS units have been installed on the ship MV Cape Ray to destroy Syria's chemical agent stockpile in support of a joint mission between the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations. ECBC worked with government agencies from FDHS inception, spearheading the science, design and manufacturing efforts in an unprecedented six month acquisition timeline.
ECBC's technicians are now operating the system onboard the ship in international waters, and as of July 21, more than 400 tons of chemicals have been safely destroyed.
"ECBC plays a critical role within Team CBRNE to provide operational forces and equipment to counter CBRNE and WMD threats," ECBC Director Joseph Wienand said. "It's imperative we stay current with technologies that can advance research defense efforts for emerging threats."
Carson also had the chance to tour facilities, meet with subject matter experts and discuss current operations with organizational leaders. Carson toured a land-based FDHS site set-up. The layout has multiple components including the hydrolysis and reactor skids, breathing air compressors, a personnel decontamination station, a chemical agent filtration system, water pumps and tanks, system air compressors, waste containers, reagents, water heaters, power distribution, generators, storage and supply containers, and a mobile analytical laboratory.
Carson was appointed to the position March 27, 2014.
ECBC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the full spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.