War on Terrorism

Friday, July 16, 2010

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, July 16, 2010

Emergent Biosolutions hosts biopreparedness roundtable for NATO parliamentarians
"Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) is hosting 'Bioterrorism Prevention, Preparedness and Response,' a forum organized for members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Parliamentary Assembly (PA) to raise global awareness of the importance of biopreparedness. The visiting delegation is composed of parliamentarians from Canada, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 'Emergent commends NATO parliamentarians for advancing the international dialogue on biopreparedness,' said Allen Shofe, senior vice president public affairs, Emergent BioSolutions. 'We are pleased to share our knowledge based on Emergent's extensive experience in the development, manufacture, and delivery of medical countermeasures that are critical to the U.S. government's biodefense infrastructure.' The forum features biodefense expert Dr. Robert Kadlec, Director of PRTM Biodefense and Public Health Practice, who will discuss the United States' approach to bioterrorism prevention, including best practices and strategies such as funding, development, and manufacture of biodefense medical countermeasures, creation of strategic stockpiles, and cooperation within the international community." (Earth Times News; 12Jul10) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/press/biopreparedness-roundtable-nato-parliamentarians,1379098.html

Boulder identifies 'numerous' gaps in water supply security [Boulder, CO]
"Boulder's supply of drinking water faces lingering vulnerabilities to terrorism and other acts of intentional contamination, seven years after a consultant recommended dozens of security upgrades, a recent city assessment concludes. According to a request submitted this week from the city's Public Works Department to the City Council, an estimated $200,000 is needed over the next two years to better protect the municipal water infrastructure. The request, part of the city's 2011 to 2016 Capital Improvement Program, concludes that a recently updated security assessment identified 'numerous' recommendations to help combat vulnerabilities and meet new federal guidelines for the 'protection of drinking water systems from terrorist and other threats.' A 2003 report to Congress by the Federation of American Scientists concluded that municipal water supplies are targets of opportunity that could be susceptible to physical disruption, bioterrorism, chemical contamination and cyber attacks. 'Smaller systems also tend to be less protected and, thus, are potentially more vulnerable to attack, whether by vandals or terrorists,' the report reads. 'A successful attack could cause widespread panic, economic impacts, and a loss of public confidence in water supply systems.' The same year that report was published, Boulder was given a federal grant to study the potential vulnerabilities of its water supply. A pair of consultants identified up to 40 recommended upgrades. To date, only about 10 of those changes have been made, said Ned Williams, director of public works for utilities. Williams said the federal government considers the recommendations more like suggestions, rather than requirements. 'What we've received is guidance from the feds,' he said. 'There are no standards.' Citing security concerns, Williams said most of the details of the city's assessments, and the upgrades made so far, are not public." (Daily Camera: Boulder, CO; 15Jul10; Heath Urie)

Lansing's Emergent lands $107 million anthrax vaccine contract [Lansing, MI]
"Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has landed a federal contract worth up to $107 million to ramp up production of its BioThrax anthrax vaccine. The additional production, part of a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be done at the Rockville, Md.-based company's Lansing site. Emergent said today in a statement the contract is valued at $54.6 million during the first two years. Emergent expects to see up to $10 million in revenue and $5 million in earnings before taxes in the second half of this year because of the contract, which could span five years. Emergent could end up making about 26 million doses of the BioThrax vaccine in Building 55 on the Lansing site. It currently has a capacity for 7-8 million doses per year." (Lansing State Journal; 14Jul10)

Research continues on shielding workers from airborne pathogens
"The early response to the H1N1 pandemic exposed ongoing sore points regarding protection of workers in healthcare and other settings during epidemics or bioterrorist attacks, and federal researchers today highlighted current efforts to address some of the concerns. They covered emerging issues such as a need for more surge capacity for airborne-pathogen isolation units and possible enhancements for guidance on responding to anthrax attacks in workplace settings. The experts presented their updates in a panel discussion at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID). Kenneth Mead, PhD, a senior research engineer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, said the nation needs a way to quickly boost surge capacity for airborne isolation units such as negative-pressure rooms. In preparing his doctoral dissertation on the topic, he said he found that 40% of hospitals lack engineered airborne isolation rooms, which typically cost between $30,000 and $40,000 to construct. For example, the state of Nevada has said it has 307 airborne isolation unit beds for its population of 2.5 million, along with 4 million tourists who visit the state each month, he reported. Adequate protection of healthcare workers is a crucial issue in planning response to major public health events, Mead said. He referred to a study of healthcare workers in New York during the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) episode that revealed that only 24% would report to work. Current airborne isolation units in hospitals are designed more to protect the hospital environment than the workers or the people being treated in the rooms, Mead said. The systems are based on dilution ventilation, which, because it is so slow to reduce harmful aerosols, doesn't provide a meaningful level of protection." (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy; 14Jul10; Lisa Schnirring) http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/anthrax/news/jul1410respiratory.html

Former senators criticize possible cut to bioshield funds
"Leading bioterrorism experts yesterday criticized the Obama administration's apparent willingness to support a measure that could strip $2 billion from the coffers of programs to develop WMD countermeasures and fight pandemic flu. The proposed transfers of funding from the biodefense and flu accounts are included in a House appropriations bill passed July 1. The measure could shift money away from the Project Bioshield Special Reserve Fund. Those dollars would instead go toward preventing teacher layoffs, the Los Angeles Times reported today. The legislation authorizes Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to decide how to reach that $2 billion figure from the funding available in the Bioshield and pandemic flu programs, which together total more than $6 billion. 'Raiding the Bioshield SRF for nonbiodefense programs will drive a stake through the heart of America's fledgling biodefense efforts,' former Senators Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.) wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama. [...] 'Project Bioshield is a key procurement component of an end-to-end process that has many stages, including basic science research and advanced development,' White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said today in an e-mail message. 'We learned from the H1N1 pandemic and through the Bioshield program itself that there are some critical enablers we need to put into place to enhance our overall success in producing rapid, reliable and affordable vaccines and other medical countermeasures.' The administration's countermeasure review efforts are aimed at eliminating delays and enhancing public-private collaboration in the vaccine and drug development process to better protect the country from bioterror [sic] attacks, pandemics and emerging infectious diseases, as well as other public health threats, he said. Established in 2004, Project Bioshield was intended to receive about $5.6 billion over 10 years to purchase medicines designed to protect U.S. citizens from the effects of a WMD attack. The program was designed to provide biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with confidence the federal government would buy successful countermeasures, bolstering those firms' willingness to pursue such products." (Global Security Newswire; 13Jul10; Martin Matishak) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100713_6726.php

DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] eyes better biosensors
"DARPA has given AnaptysBio a contract to produce thermally stable antibodies to detect toxic substances and bioterrorist threats. 'The military often operates under harsh conditions that can shorten the useful life of important safety-related equipment such as antibody-based biosensor instruments capable of detecting trace amounts of toxic substances,' said Tom Smart, chairman and chief executive officer for AnaptysBio. 'Using our SHM-Platform, we have the potential to revolutionize the way antibodies are generated or improved, in this case enabling the generation of thermally stable antibodies for use in biosensors with full retention of functionality. 'The results also may have applications within the pharmaceutical industry for more flexible and less costly formulation and storage requirements for therapeutic antibodies,' he said. The award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has a potential value of $1.5 million. Work would be performed over a 2-year period. AnaptysBio said biosensors allow for rapid detection of target molecules -- such as airborne bacteria and water contaminants -- and provide a high level of sensitivity and specificity. The use of conventional antibodies in biosensors, however, has often been limited by stability issues such as sensitivity to heat." (Officialwire; 12Jul10) http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=180386&catid=60

Bavarian Nordic delivers 1 million doses of first vaccine developed under U.S. biopreparedness program to the Strategic National Stockpile
"Bavarian Nordic A/S (Nasdaq OMX: BAVA) announced today that it has delivered 1 million doses of its smallpox vaccine IMVAMUNE(r) to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile for use in the event of a smallpox bioterrorism attack on the U.S. IMVAMUNE(r) is the first vaccine successfully developed under Project BioShield, a U.S. program created by Congress in 2004 to develop and purchase medicines and vaccines to protect the American public from bioterrorism attacks. Bioterrorism experts are concerned about the possibility of an attack on the U.S. that exposes the population to the smallpox virus. IMVAMUNE(r) was clinically developed and manufactured under contracts with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under the BARDA contract, Bavarian Nordic will deliver 20 million doses of IMVAMUNE(r) to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, with an option for 60 million more doses." (PR Newswire; 13Jul10) http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bavarian-nordic-delivers-1-million-doses-of-first-vaccine-developed-under-us-biopreparedness-program-to-the-strategic-national-stockpile-98318274.html

Depot: mustard agent disposal starts up again in Hermiston [WA]
"Disposal of mustard agent in ton containers began again shortly before midnight Tuesday at the Umatilla Chemical Depot after an annual maintenance outage at the facility's metal parts furnace. The facility will operate initially at half capacity while officials with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality check data from the test burns, said a news release. One trial burn was done on June 27 and the outage began June 28. Before the outage, 374 mustard ton containers had been destroyed, or 14.2 percent of the depot's mustard agent stockpile. Deadline to destroy the containers is April 2012. This is the 13th and final chemical weapons disposal project at the depot since the start of chemical disposal operations in September 2004." (Bellingham Herald; 14Jul10) http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/07/14/1525665/depot-mustard-agent-disposal-starts.html

Australian vegetables poisoned as police probe sabotage
"Police in Australia are investigating the poisoning of seven million vegetable seedlings, including tomatoes, aubergines and melons. Detectives believe a herbicide was injected into the irrigation system at a nursery in northern Queensland. The Australian farm minister described the poisoning at a Queensland nursery - the fourth such incident in eight years - as 'sabotage'. Farmers and analysts say the price of vegetables will increase as a result. The cost of the damage is estimated at AUS $23.5m (£19.7m; $20.3m US), said Denise Kreymborg of the regional growers' association. [...] 'I don't think it's just a local vandal,' Ms Kreymborg said, according to the Associated Press. 'Obviously they knew what they were doing, as it was a pretty technical act they've done. But we don't want to contaminate the investigation by pointing fingers.' Workers at the Supa Seedlings nursery, which supplies around 30 regional growers, noticed plants wilting from 20 June. The bulk of the poisoned plants - around four million - were tomato seedlings. Some of them had already been transplanted on farms." (British Broadcasting Corporation; 08Jul10)

Chlorine gas leak leaves 103 sick in Mumbai
"As many as 103 people fell sick early today after inhaling chlorine gas leaking from a cylinder stored in the Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) premises at Sewri. Some of the affected people were discharged after treatment. Currently, 78 people are recuperating, of which eight are in the Critical Care Unit due to respiratory problems and 14 in the Medical Intensive Unit due to throat problems. MPT, police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have launched a joint probe into the incident. Besides, a 45-member team of the National Disaster Response Force has been brought in from Pune to figure out how to safely dispose the remaining cylinders. Police sources said the cylinders were stored at a warehouse for hazardous cargo. The building is flanked by the sea on one side. 'Out of 105 cylinders that have been found, five still have chlorine in them. We are trying to neutralise them on the spot,' said S A Ahmed, assistant commandant of the National Disaster Response Force. 'One container takes six hours to neutralise and these should be cleaned by tomorrow morning,' he added. For more than six hours, firefighters tried to neutralise the gas, filling the air with sodium hydroxide sprays. The major fear: that there are more than a 100 cylinders similar to the one that caused this morning's disaster in the same warehouse." (Business Standard; 15Jul10) http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/chlorine-gas-leak-leaves-103-sick-in-mumbai/401471/

Lautenberg introduces bills to protect chemical and water plants nationwide
"Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a comprehensive legislative package that would help to prevent debilitating terrorist attacks at America's chemical, drinking water, and wastewater facilities. This legislation requires plants to assess their vulnerability and develop plans to address those vulnerabilities, and requires the highest-risk facilities to put in place Inherently Safer Technology (IST) to increase public and environmental safety. 'This legislation would close a gap that leaves millions of families vulnerable to an attack on America's chemical plants and water treatment facilities,' Lautenberg said. 'Terrorism experts identified chemical and water plants as one of the top risks to our nation following the September 11th attacks. When companies use chemicals that put thousands of lives at risk, it is essential that they find safer ways to do business. This is common-sense legislation that would ensure a thorough review of risk, and help us move toward more secure plants and safer communities.' The Secure Water Facilities Act and Secure Chemical Facilities Act would require changes for the highest-risk facilities, preventing undue burdens on small, low-risk facilities while protecting against the greatest threats. Some of the changes that can be implemented at water and chemical plants include reducing the amount of lethal gases stored on-site or minimizing the use of dangerous chlorine gas." (Offices of Senator Frank R. Lautenberg; 15Jul10)

Obama nominates OPCW envoy for ambassadorship
"The White House on Friday announced that it was nominating its present envoy to the international body that oversees implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention for an ambassadorship. Robert Mikulak is a veteran State Department staffer who has led the agency's Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat Reduction Office since 1996. He has served as U.S. representative to the Organization for the Prohibition on Chemical Weapons since the departure of Bush administration envoy Eric Javits. Mikulak also served from 1993 to 1996 as deputy head of the U.S. delegation to the Chemical Weapons Convention Preparatory Commission in The Hague, Netherlands, and represented U.S. interests in 1989-90 negotiations with the former Soviet Union on chemical warfare materials and at the international 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention, according to a White House statement." (Global Security Newswire; 12Jul10) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20100712_8820.php

DOE [Department of Energy] plans hearings on mixed oxide fuel use at TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority] nuclear plants
"The Tennessee Valley Authority, which has produced a key component for nuclear bombs at its newest reactor for more than a decade, could use its two other nuclear plants to dispose of materials from abandoned nuclear weapons. The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that it will conduct public hearings next month on a plan to reprocess plutonium from America's surplus nuclear weapons arsenal into mixed oxide fuel to be burned in nuclear reactors. The hearings are the next step in a proposal to use the materials for fuel at TVA's Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant near Soddy-Daisy and Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Ala. 'TVA has made no decision yet about mixed oxide fuel, but we are evaluating the option because of the potential savings in our (nuclear) fuel costs and our mission of national security,' TVA spokesman Terry Johnson said. TVA signed a letter of intent a year ago to work with DOE's Nuclear Security Administration to test mixed oxide fuel produced from America's stockpile of nearly 40 metric tons of plutonium from abandoned nuclear weapons. [...] Duke Energy conducted two tests of mixed oxide fuel at its Catawba Nuclear Station in South Carolina before abandoning the program a year ago. Tom Clements, the Southeastern nuclear campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth, a clean energy advocacy group, said using weapons-grade plutonium in nuclear plants would increase the risk of any accident or terrorist attack at the plants and hurt U.S. nonproliferation efforts." (Chattanooga Times Free Press; 16Jul10; Dave Flessner) http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2010/jul/16/doe-plans-hearings-mixed-oxide-fuel-use-tva-nuclea/

Four bust in 'dirty bomb' sale sting
"An international police sting at a Pretoria petrol station has netted four men involved in the sale of a highly radioactive metal suspected to be destined for use in a dirty bomb. The high-risk operation by the Hawks' specialised tactical unit was carried out yesterday. Police recovered some Caesium-137 contained in a protective cover, but admitted they had yet to find a larger device, which was set to be sold on the black market for R45 million. CCTV footage shows how undercover members of the Hawks' organised crime unit stormed through a Sasol garage, opening fire on the suspects with semi-automatic weapons, sending terrified customers, motorists and petrol attendants fleeing. Within moments of arresting the Mamelodi and Vanderbijlpark men, who are aged between 35 and 50, environmental officers and a field team of South African nuclear specialists sealed off the area as they gathered air samples and conducted tests on the radioactive material. Police said they began their investigation after infiltrating a criminal organisation, which has allegedly been trying to source the highly radioactive Caesium-137. Sources said the amount recovered, although small, could have been used in building a dirty bomb. [...] A policeman said the source of the Caesium-137 was unknown and investigators were going all out to locate the larger device. 'We don't know what these suspects' intentions were and we need to find the device quickly,' he said. Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA spokeswoman, Chantal Janneker, confirmed the material was Caesium-137, and said there had been no contamination in the area. Hawks spokesman, Colonel Musa Zondi, said the four were arrested as they tried to sell the stolen material which was a sample of a device which was to be sold for R45 million." (Independent: South Africa; 10Jul10)

INL[Idaho National Laboratory]: Fire has not released contamination
The Idaho National Laboratory reported Thursday that a fire that has consumed some 170 square miles of brush land on and off the eastern Idaho nuclear site has not burned over any areas contaminated by radioactive materials. The Snake River Alliance, a southern Idaho nuclear watchdog organization, is skeptical of that statement, as is the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. 'I guess I can't image DOE saying that,' said Susan Burke, INL coordinator for DEQ. Burke was referring to the U.S. Department of Energy, the agency that operates the INL. 'It looks like the fire has gone over a few older Superfund sites,' Burke said, adding that the sites have been assessed and remediated, which in some instances involved placing clean soil over contamination in the ground. She said past fires in the same general area of the INL have not resulted in radiological releases into the atmosphere. Whether this week's fire stirred up any radioactive materials is not yet known and is pending results from air and smoke sampling conducted by both the INL and DEQ. 'We're not expecting there to be any radioactive contamination from the smoke, but we won't know until we have the results,' Burke said. The fire started Tuesday afternoon near the Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex, a training facility a few miles north of the intersection of U.S. Highways 20 and 26. High winds, with gusts up to 55 miles per hour, rapidly spread the blaze in a northeastern direction. Some 15 miles to the east, the fire skirted the INL Materials and Fuels Complex facility, where nuclear reactor fuel research is conducted. The INL reported that the fire downed power lines to both facilities but did not burn the buildings." (Idaho Mountain Express; 16Jul10; Terry Smith)

To prevent another Mayapuri [developing equipment for WMD response]
"Be it the Bhopal gas tragedy or the Mayapuri radiation disaster, absence of proper preventive mechanism and emergency equipment aggravated both situations and many more lives were lost and endangered than normal. All that could change in the future. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has sanctioned Rs 285 crore for development of system and equipment for protection against any kind of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and leakages. The complete system is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which besides preparing NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) suits will also design dedicated platforms for soldiers to operate. The systems including the vehicles would be completely radiation and contamination proof, shielding the soldiers in all kinds of environments. Besides that, officials from DRDO also informed that unmanned ground vehicles and special robots are also being designed for highly contaminated environments where no human can enter. The de-contamination teams would work in cooperation with medical teams on standby, which besides taking care of the soldiers would also assist the civil administration. Initially the focus would be on establishing the system, which would detect the contamination as early as possible, enabling the soldiers to contain the leakages within a desired periphery. [...] Inflatable structures are also being developed in which people can take shelter during such incidents, the official added. Till now, the focus was on building underground shelters while preparing for such eventualities." (Mid-Day; 12Jul10) http://www.mid-day.com/news/2010/jul/120710-Delhi-DRDO-nuclear-waste-Mayapuri.htm

Emergency response software relies on smart phones
"A lot of money has been spent since 9/11 to improve communication among agencies and first responders during an emergency. A new system puts those running an operation in touch with those they're tasked with saving. A group of entrepreneurs recently rolled out a pilot system that brings civilians into the loop during a crisis. With offices in Silicon Valley, Calif., and New York, CiviGuard has developed a system that relies heavily on the increasing use of smart phones. In real time, the system delivers location-specific alerts and guidance to civilians. For example, it can tell citizens the locations of hospitals, police stations or emergency escape routes. 'It's like taking OnStar and putting it in your palm,' said Zubin Wadia, CEO and founder of CiviGuard. The controller of the system can view an interactive map of a region during an emergency and communicate with subscribers based on their locations. If he notices citizens, represented by pixilated squares on the computer screen, walking the wrong way, he can point them in the right direction by sending a message to their smart phones. Civilians can respond via their phones to signify if they are lost, hurt or OK. The message automatically comes with the location from where it was sent. Those messages are posted on Facebook or Twitter for friends and family members to see." (National Defense Magazine; 01Aug10; Eric Beidel) http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/a

Secretary Napolitano announces more than $1.8 billion in fiscal year 2010 preparedness grants
"Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced more than $1.8 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedness grants designed to help states, urban areas, tribal governments and non-profit organizations enhance their protection, prevention, response and recovery capabilities for risks associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards. 'The grants being announced today will help our partners in state, local and tribal governments and non-profit organizations across the country better prepare for, respond to and recover from all threats and hazards,' said Secretary Napolitano. 'This funding pays for training for fire fighters, medics and police officers, supports the purchase of equipment that is essential to our first responders, and improves our ability to communicate during disasters. These investments have a direct impact on communities across our country as we work together to build, sustain and improve the resilience of our families, businesses and neighborhoods.' The Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) is the Department's primary funding mechanism for building and sustaining national preparedness capabilities to help strengthen the nation against the risks associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards." (Department of Homeland Security; 15Jul10) http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1279205905487.shtm

Maine National Guard to oversee new military unit
"The new military units announced by the Department of Defense are aimed at responding to domestic security emergencies. The Department of Defense has announced plans to establish additional military units to respond to domestic security emergencies, and Maine will play a major role. Under the plan, the Maine National Guard will provide the command and control unit to oversee 170 soldiers from across New England trained to respond to everything from a biological weapons attack to a natural disaster that involves major chemical contaminants. General Bill Libby commands Maine's National Guard. 'There needs to be a reponse capability to assist local and state authorities, in particular when they're dealing with chemical, biological, radiological and high explosive events,' he says. The Maine-led unit will work with another one based in Massachusetts. Libby says the plan calls for the new unit to be operating in 2012." (Maine Public Broadcasting Network; 14Jul10) http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3478/ItemId/12893/Default.aspx

Fort Drum training for NY National Guard aircrews
"New York National Guard Aviation Soldiers will train to prepare themselves for the newly formed Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Explosive (CBRNE) Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF. This training of Soldiers and aircrwes will certify three of New York's aviation units to be called to Federal Active Duty if needed to deploy in support of federal missions for any natural or man-made disaster beginning in the new fiscal year, starting October1. WHO: 3rd Battalion, 142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion (UH-60 Blackhawks) from Latham and Ronkonkoma. Company B, 126th Aviation (CH-47 'Chinook' Heavy Lift) from Rochester and the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion (Maintenance and Repair) from Rochester, Ronkonkoma and Oleans. In total, approximately 300 Soldiers will participate in the training. WHAT: Soldier and Aircrew training to certify the readiness of the aviation task force to deploy anywhere along the east coast of the U.S. for consequence management or disaster response missions. WHERE: Fort Drum, N.Y. News media will linkup with media escort Sgt. 1st Class Steven Petibone at the Fort Drum Media Center, Route 26 outside the Wheeler Sack Army Airfield entrance. WHEN: Tuesday, July 13 at 10 a.m. for all news organizations. The National Guard training runs from 9-23 July, 2010." (Readmedia; 12Jul10)

Hamilton College and N.Y. state police special operations to conduct campus emergency drill
"Hamilton College will conduct a large-scale emergency drill on its campus in conjunction with the New York State Police (NYSP) and local emergency responders on Tuesday, July 20. This undertaking will allow both organizations to test their emergency preparedness in an economical and effective manner. The college will also meet a newly established requirement of the Clery Act which mandates that colleges test their emergency preparedness plans yearly. State Police special operations response teams from around the state will join members of the town police department, county sheriff's office, county ambulance corps, village fire department and other local police in enacting this preparedness drill. 'Hamilton considers this mock drill to be an important and essential part of the college's emergency preparedness efforts,' said Hamilton Director of Campus Safety Francis Manfredo. Members of the Hamilton Emergency Response Team will test their proficiency in handling an emergency utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS). The drill will also assist the NYSP and local emergency responders in gaining experience responding to an incident in a campus setting. Although the exact nature of the exercise has not been revealed, police officers, heavy machinery and possibly air patrols will be involved. Approximately 50 individuals from the campus community are being recruited as actors in the emergency scenario. Police officers will be armed, but no live ammunition will be used." (Newswise: Charlottesville, VA; 12Jul10) http://www.newswise.com/articles/hamilton-college-and-ny-state-police-special-operations-to-conduct-campus-emergency-drill-exercise

Guard testing terrorism response [KS]
"An eight-day training exercise is under way in central Kansas, testing the responses of local, state and emergency officials to an act of domestic terrorism. National Guard units from Kansas and Nebraska are taking part in the exercise, which began Sunday and runs through July 18. The goal is to test civilian and government agencies in how well they respond to a terrorist act. Officials begin with a tabletop exercise and move outdoors to Crisis City, a Kansas National Guard training venue near Salina. The training will involve a chemical, biological and nuclear response team of the Nebraska National Guard." (Topeka Capital-Journal; 12Jul10) http://cjonline.com/news/state/2010-07-12/guard_testing_terrorism_response DOD announces

remaining eight National Guard HRFs [Homeland Response Forces]
The Department of Defense (DoD), in collaboration with the states, has selected Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Utah, and California to host the remaining eight homeland response forces (HRFs), which will be established in fiscal 2012. On June 3, 2010, DoD announced Ohio and Washington as the hosts for the first two HRFs, which will be established in fiscal 2011. The creation of the HRFs is a part of DoD's larger reorganization of its domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive (CBRNE) consequence management enterprise, initiated during the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. This reorganization will ensure DoD has a robust ability to respond rapidly to domestic CBRNE incidents while recognizing the primary role that the governors play in controlling the response to incidents that occur in their states. The homeland response forces (HRF) will be distributed across the nation, with one HRF hosted in each of the ten Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions. Each HRF will provide a regional response capability of approximately 570 personnel composed of CBRNE specialists, command and control and security forces. HRFs will self-deploy by ground within six to 12 hours of an event, bringing life-saving medical, search and extraction, decontamination, security, and command and control capabilities -- this represents a dramatic improvement in response time and life-saving capability to the previous construct. Coincident with the creation of the eight HRFs in fiscal 2012, the department has selected Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon, and Maine to replace existing CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) that will evolve into HRFs." (Department of Defense; 12Jul10)

CNS ChemBio-WMD Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD terrorism.

No comments: