By Mr. Paul Boyce (FORSCOM)December 2, 2008
The Department of Defense approved the Army's recommendation today, Dec. 2, to permanently disestablish the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT) operations at a laboratory located on the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Campus, and transfer those activities to other laboratories. These operations were suspended in April 2008 by the Army Surgeon General to place emphasis on safety, accountability and training.
Additionally, the Army begins today to conduct a week-long Compliance and Accountability Program at the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, MD. During this program, the work force will review bio-surety compliance and procedures, with special emphasis on the safety, security, accounting, and reporting necessary to maintain the highest possible standards in these areas. These measures are drawn from months of examination and coordination with the Army's Surety Task Force, the Interservice Council on Bio-Security and Bio-Safety, the Defense Science Board and the Defense Health Board, as well as other federal agencies, with expertise in bio-surety.
As part of the Compliance and Accountability Program, the Army will certify accountability procedures to validate the full accounting of materials in USAMRIID laboratories. These activities are ultimately focused on increasing readiness; they are further evidence of the commitment to impose and maintain maximum compliance by achieving the highest possible levels of training and certification. The Army plans to conduct similar compliance and accountability programs at the other five BSAT laboratories.
For more assistance with questions, media may contact Paul Boyce at Army Public Affairs at (703) 697-2564.