DoD chemical and biological defense head outlines program's progress

Carmen Spencer, the joint program executive director of the Department of Defense's Chemical and Biological Defense Program, recently provided an update of the program's activities to the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

Spencer originally testified in April, but the House Armed Services Committee did not release the details of the hearing until now.

In outlining the Chemical and Biological and Defense Program's approximately $1.4 billion budget request for fiscal year 2015, Spencer highlighted its four strategic goals: equipping forces to successfully conduct military operations, anticipating CBRN threats, maintaining infrastructure and integrating and aligning the program's activities. Spencer said that a focus on medical countermeasures, diagnostics, biosurveillance and non-traditional agent defense are critical to advancing those goals.

Spencer also detailed the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, which the DoD developed in order to neutralize Syria's chemical stockpiles.

Spencer concluded his address by highlighting the importance of congressional cooperation in the success of the Chemical and Biological Defense Program.

"As this subcommittee is well aware, a confluence of technological, political, and economic factors are making the current security environment as challenging as any congress and the president have faced in the nation's history," Spencer said. "Continued collaboration is critical to advancing chemical, biological, and radiological defense science and engineering to maintain the technological advantage currently held by our forces."