Moroccan officials tour Fort Detrick to improve CBRN defenses

Lt. Col. Mohamed El Haouri and Capt. Jalal Kasouati, two Moroccan military medical officers, were recently given a familiarization visit to Fort Detrick, Maryland and multiple other facilities in the area between November 14 and 19.

The U.S. Army Africa’s Command Surgeon office conducted the tour in an effort to help the Moroccan Army to improve their chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive defenses as they develop a biosafety level 3 laboratory, reports.

“The Moroccan Army is trying to build up their CBRNE response capabilities and expand them,” tour leader Maj. Kristin Agresta said, according to “They are also interested in other models for this as they follow the French model in most aspects of their government and military.”

U.S. Army Africa Command Surgeon Col. Alfonso Alarcon said that the French model wasn’t the only way to deal which CBRNE problems, but it was another method the Moroccan Army could model after.

“We showed them the capabilities of a small community hospital with Level 2-3 capabilities and what they are expected to do in an emergency,” Agresta said, according to “This was their first real look at Incident Command Center terminology and breakdown. They were shown what came about after 9-11, but even more so after Hurricane Katrina, and the need for coordination and interoperability between the facilities throughout a city, county, state, country and with other rescue entities, such as police, rescue and others.”

Agresta told that the two visitors were quite impressed with what they saw. Youssef Zinoun, from the U.S. Embassy Morocco’s Office of Security Cooperation, accompanied the tour. He told that this event could lead to future contact team events and a continued improvement in cooperation between the two nations.