CBRNE Particles – Ebola PPE Price Index, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Insect-Inspired Robots

Topics in this issue include first responder communications, strategic nuclear stability, critical infrastructure protection, and nerve agent antidotes.

NY National Guard Sharpens CBRN Response Skills

More than 375 New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen sharpened their skills responding to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) hazards during training at the Erie County Emergency Services Training and Operations Center Nov. 12-16 as part of a regional disaster response force. Global Biodefense >>

Ohio Adds Schools to its First Responder Communication System

By silently pressing the button, a school bypasses 911 dispatch getting in touch with a local dispatcher trained to answer the alert radio. Using these radios, dispatchers can identify the emergency alert by a school’s unique identifier and can hear what’s going on through the radio, as well as talk. Emergency Management >>

ITER Fusion Project Names French Nuclear Official as New Chief

ITER, the €13 billion international fusion reactor under construction in France, has chosen Bernard Bigot, chair of France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), as its next director-general. Bigot will replace Osamu Motojima and will begin his 5-year term next June. Science Insider >>

Questions, Praise for UAE’s Terrorist List

Although the United Arab Emirates’ list of designated terrorist organizations has raised questions about who it does and does not include, officials see the move as necessary for the Arabian Gulf sheikhdom. Defense News >>

Custom-Fit Chem Gear Protects Forward-Deployed Sailors

Specialists with Griffin Technologies fit 7th Fleet Sailors with chemical, biological and radiological masks and protective garments during a week-long customized fit session to ensure combat readiness and CBR threat protection for the forward deployed staff. U.S. Navy >>

Researchers Test Insect-Inspired Robots

A recently developed prototype that is capable of wide-field vision and high-update rate, hallmarks of insect vision, is something researchers hope to test at the manned and unmanned teaming, or MUM-T, exercise at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia. Army Research Laboratory >>

Institute Creates Ebola Price Index for Personal Protective Equipment

The ECRI Institute Ebola PPE Price Index is a benchmark database of prices paid for personal protective equipment (PPE). The Index includes PPE products in 9 key categories with manufacturer make and model, and low, average, and high prices paid. Initial pricing data comes directly from members of ECRI Institute’s PriceGuide, an advisory service for the procurement of medical/surgical supplies and implants. Global Biodefense >>

US, Canada Team Up For Joint Response to Disaster Striking Both Nations

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Canada’s Defense Research and Development Center for Security Science (DRDC CSS) recently completed the first phase of the Canada-US Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE), which uses cross-border information-sharing experiments to help increase resilience at our northern border. HS Today >>

Strategies for Defending the Border and Protecting Critical Infrastructure

We ought to prioritize the way we deal with illicit flows toward the U.S. and concentrate our efforts on the threats that are most severe and take seriously the risk that in the future these transnational criminal organizations will not only traffic in minors but traffic in terrorists and even potentially, weapons of mass destruction. Emergency Management >>

In Mali’s Desert French Troops Hunt Al Qaeda Well By Well

If the French army and its allies are to keep al Qaeda at bay in the desert of northern Mali they must stop them seizing the biggest prizes in the sea of white sand – the wells. France uses drones, jets and helicopters in its Operation Barkhane mission to eliminate jihadist sanctuaries across five Sahel countries, but winning local support is key and that means face-to-face contact, soldiers said. Reuters >>

Bosnia-Herzegovina Continues Anti-Terrorism Efforts

A recent police operation that included more than 100 officers from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) apprehended 11 people suspected of fighting for Islamist militants in Syria or Iraq or otherwise supporting such groups. SETimes >>

Nuclear War, the Black Swan We Can Never See

No nuclear war has ever been observed, so it may seem impossible that one would occur. Though nations possess some 16,000 nuclear warheads, deterrence just seems to work. And so, especially with the Cold War a fading memory, attention has shifted elsewhere. But it is just as much of a mistake to think that nuclear war couldn’t happen now as it was to think that black swans couldn’t exist back then. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Thousands of Iraq Chemical Weapons Destroyed in Open Air

The U.S. recovered thousands of old chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2009 and destroyed almost all of them in secret and via open-air detonation, according to a written summary of its activities prepared by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international body that monitors implementation of the global chemical weapons treaty. New York Times >>

Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age

During the Cold War, the potential for nuclear weapons to be used was determined largely by the United States and the Soviet Union. Now, with 16,300 weapons possessed by the seven established nuclear-armed states—China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—deterrence is increasingly complex. Council on Foreign Relations >>

Army CBRNe Equipment Supply Contract Award

The U.S. Army has awarded a contract for the supply of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNe) equipment. The Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded to four vendors, for a base year and four one-year options with a maximum value of the total IDIQ set at $150,000,000. Global Biodefense >>

Avon Military Mask Technology Could Help Fight Ebola

The technology that allows soldiers to fight on for hours while under chemical attack could be used to help combat the deadly ebola virus, according to British company Avon Rubber. The company, whose protection unit produces gas masks used by more than 50 militaries to keep troops safe from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) contamination, says it is beginning to see enquiries from governments about how its products could be used. The Telegraph >>

New Terahertz Device Could Strengthen Security

A new type of security detection that uses terahertz radiation is looking to prove its promise. Able to detect explosives, chemical agents, and dangerous biological substances from safe distances, devices using terahertz waves could make public spaces more secure than ever. HSNW >>

PharmAthene Fulfills Anthrax Anti-Toxin Order

Under the IDIQ contract, PharmAthene was selected to provide a specified quantity of its Valortim anthrax anti-toxin master cell bank for secure storage by the government as part of a risk mitigation strategy for anthrax medical countermeasures. Global Biodefense >>

Upcoming Events

CBRN Gas Mask Fit Test

Custom Fit CBRN Masks Protect Deployed Sailors

JCAD Chemical Detector

Joint Chemical Agent Detector for…Explosives?