Military CBRN defense should have substantial funding despite budget concerns

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical Biological Defense recently announced that it should have a high level of continued funding despite budgetary concerns.

Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense Carmen Spencer said that there should be approximately $3.5 billion appropriated from 2013-2018. The money will be used to develop new vaccines, purchase protective gear and create a biological surveillance system against infectious diseases, according to

"Everything is locked in Jell-O," Spencer said, reports. Spencer was referring to the U.S. Defense Department's recent budgetary concerns.

"Because of the world situation as it is today and the emerging threats, there is much more scrutiny in our ability to protect our armed forces, [and] to prevent WMD proliferation around the globe," Spencer said, reports.

The U.S. military is currently in the middle of an overhaul of its research, development and procurement procedures when it comes to chem-bio defense technologies. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense Gerald Parker recently asked the National Academies of Science to take a look at the way it acquires and prioritizes investments in these fields.

The NAS prepared a report, entitled "Determining Core Capabilities in Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology," that demonstrates how quickly chemical and biological threats are evolving. The report says the DOD is not keeping up.

"For too long the program has been fragmented and decentralized, and we are changing that to bring a much better unity of effort," Parker said, reports.