By Mr. Dan Lafontaine (RDECOM)September 23, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- U.S. Army engineers, chemists and biologists at APG's Edgewood Area showed off their efforts to combat threats against the nation Sept. 22.
Joseph Wienand, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center technical director, opened the two-day 2011 Team CBRNE Capabilities Showcase in Downer Hall. He said the goal was to educate, inform and build partnerships among the eight APG organizations taking part in the event.
APG is home to the military's leading experts in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives, commonly known as CBRNE.
"We have hundreds of buildings and thousands of people here at Edgewood. Many people come to Edgewood and think it's a sleepy, out-of-the-way place. And then they found out what we do," Weinand said, referring to APG's research, development, engineering and sustainment for CBRNE operations.
Team CBRNE set up 56 exhibit booths, as well as vehicle and mobile laboratory displays, for the first day of the showcase.
Brig. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, commanding general of 20th Support Command (CBRNE), discussed how the work of civilian scientists and engineers translates onto the battlefield.
"I use the capabilities here to do missions that no one else wants to do," Smith said. "Keep those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who are out there doing the missions in mind.
"They're doing great work. You helped develop the equipment as a team to give to those formations."
Soldiers from 20th Support Command demonstrated an explosive ordnance disposal bomb suit and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Element vehicle, a 30-foot long modified truck that serves as a mobile command post.
Cpl. Joshua Schneider showed the vehicle's capabilities in responding to a CBRNE attack. It contains an operations center that includes video teleconferencing, secure computer networks and telecommunications, and a camera that rises from the roof with a long-distance zoom that can rotate 360 degrees.
It's the only vehicle of its kind in the Army and can be deployed anywhere in the country on a C-17 aircraft, Schneider said. One person can set up and operate the truck within 10 minutes.
APG will host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, Educational Outreach Day Sept. 23. About 400 students from Harford and Cecil County public schools will explore how the Army protects America.
"We need to create the next generation of scientists and engineers," Weinand said, referring to programs that encourage students to pursue careers in science and technology.
Participating Army organizations at the showcase are ECBC, Chemical Materials Agency, U.S. Army Public Health Command, Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, 20th Support Command and Defense Threat Reduction Agency.