U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) led a joint subcommittee hearing on Wednesday to assess the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts against weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
McSally, chairwoman of the Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications House Subcommittee under the Homeland Security Committee, led the hearing, which focused on DHS' level of preparedness against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats.
“DHS must play a leading role in defending our homeland from CBRNE threats,” McSally said. “These are serious threats, and I look forward to hearing from our DHS witnesses on how the department is addressing them. I am also interested to hear from both panels how the proposed reorganization will elevate the CBRNE mission and provide strong leadership to ensure the department is able to meet these threats.”
Testimony from the hearing indicates that DHS is planning to bring CBRNE operations together into one office to streamline operations that are currently performed in several offices, including the Office of Health Affairs, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and parts of the Science and Technology Directorate. With this consolidation, staff members in these offices who work specifically in CBRNE-related areas would be transitioned into the new office.