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Wearable Detectors, 101st Airborne CBRN Exercise, Fire Foam Contamination

Topics in this issue include and a 101st Airborne CBRN defense exercise, wearable nuclear detection devices, and mandatory personal preparedness in Germany.

101st Airborne Division Soldiers Conduct CBRN Defense Exercise

Training introduced Soldiers to the M50 – Joint Service General Purpose Mask and basic CBRN decontamination procedures, said Staff Sgt. Chad Field, a platoon sergeant with the FSC and native of Missoula, Montana. The M50 replaced the U.S. M40 Field Protective Mask. A convoy mission scenario, including driving with the mask and having to simulate decontaminating themselves, was added to the training for a more realistic and hands-on experience. Clarksville Online >>

Russia’s Nuclear Paranoia Fuels Its Nuclear Propaganda

Twitter has been aflame with reports that the U.S. is moving the few dozen nuclear weapons stored at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to Deveselu military base in Romania. I am calling bullshit on this one — but it’s bullshit in a telling way. It’s most likely Russian propaganda, all part of an elaborate strategy to build opposition to U.S. missile defense efforts and deflect criticism of Moscow for violating arms control treaties. Foreign Policy >>

US Air Force to Change Fire Foam Due to Water Contamination

The U.S. Air Force is changing the foam it uses to fight fires because of concerns that it has contaminated groundwater and spread to drinking water at some military sites. The Air Force says it awarded a $6.2 million contract on Monday to replace the firefighting foam with an “environmentally responsible foam” to reduce the risk of possible contamination of soil and groundwater. Chem.info >>

Why Boris Johnson Must Support Continued Criminal Investigations Into Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

The recent video showing a young Syrian boy rescued from rubble after airstrikes in Aleppo has again highlighted the scale of violence in the Syrian civil war. Here, Brett Edwards and Mattia Cacciatori outline the current state of affairs regarding chemical weapons attacks in the country, and the best way that UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson can support the legal and criminal investigations into these attacks. London School of Economics >>

Tough Twins: New Fireboats for Port of Long Beach

The new fireboats are equipped with CBRN capacities, comprised of a citadel enclosure, specialized HVAC filters, a decontamination shower, and chemical detectors. The vessels also include a Command Information Center that enables them to perform on-scene command duties and communicate with other agencies. Marine Links >>

These Kids Just Got a Lesson in What Their Military Parents Do

Operation Purple gives military children of deployed or injured service members a chance to go to a weeklong camp for free to relax and play with peers who get their lifestyle. At one of those camps in Maryland this week, 100 kids ages 9 to 12 got to learn from some special guests, too – about 30 soldiers from Aberdeen Proving Ground. DoD Live >>

Neglecting Nuclear Security in the 2016 Election

Nuclear threats have haunted US leaders since the United States used the first atomic weapons and realized others could do the same. These fears are not totally unfounded: A team from the Government Accountability Office recently succeeded in procuring ingredients for a dirty bomb within the United States, and would-be terrorists could possibly do the same. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Toronto’s Chester Subway Station Opens Again After Evacuation

Subway service was briefly suspended between Broadview and Greenwood stations on the Bloor-Danforth line as police investigated a suspicious substance at Chester station. Police said they were called to the station at 10:46 a.m. Tuesday after someone spotted an unknown powder in a garbage can. Inside Toronto >>

DHS Prototypes Wearable Nuclear Detection Devices

The Homeland Security Department is trying to ramp up wearable devices that can detect nuclear radiation. DHS has made a handful of awards for well-developed prototypes, of wearable products from companies including Leidos and Physical Sciences, Inc. Nextgov >>

Molecular Rotors for the Detection of Chemical Warfare Agent Simulants

The fluorogenic probe o-OH is able to detect and quantify organophosphorus nerve agent mimics in solution and in the vapor phase following immobilization on a solid substrate, making the system a suitable candidate for the field detection of chemical warfare agents. Detection is achieved by the suppression of internal rotation upon phosphorylation of a reactive phenolate, resulting in a large fluorescence “turn-on” response. Analytical Chemistry >>

The Science of Mass Hysteria: When We Face Uncertainty, Our Minds Crave Explanations

Incidents of mass panic or hysteria depend on the mood of the crowd at the time an episode occurs. Over the past 30 years, I have studied many outbreaks of mass panic and hysteria. In all of them, the common denominator is a backdrop of anxiety and stress. Fear and anxiety can spread from person to person like a contagious disease. When people are predisposed to overreact to any fearful stimulus, mass hysteria can instantaneously take over a crowd. STAT >>

450 Residents Near Dutch DuPont Plant to Get Blood Tests

A group of workers at a DuPont plant in the Netherlands have been pressuring the company to study the health impact of the years they were exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid (C8), which is a known carcinogen. Now, as part of the ongoing investigation into C8 exposure in and near the plant in Dordrecht, DuPont has invited about 450 residents to have their blood tested by a local health board. Officials have reported that residents were exposed to higher-than-legal amounts of the chemical in the atmosphere — not in the water — between 1970 and 2002. Chem.info >>

In Support of Nuclear No First Use

According to news reports, President Obama is considering making a pledge that the United States would never be the first to use nuclear weapons in combat. This idea, apparently floated as a trial balloon, has received considerable criticism from Mr. Obama’s senior advisors, who say that U.S. allies around the world would be worried by such a move. Brookings >>

Star Trek Phasers May Lead to Missile Defense Breakthrough

Smithsonian Channel has posted a clip from its upcoming special, Building Star Trek, which places the focus on Dr. Rob Afzal, a laser scientist at Lockheed Martin and an unabashed Trekker as well. One of Afzal’s goals is to create “a defensive weapon as powerful as Star Trek‘s phaser.” But that’s much easier said than done. According to Afzal, that the biggest challenge is creating a way to store the massive amount of energy needed for a working phaser-like device in a handheld shell. Nerdist >>

The Second Coming of MIRVS: The Future of Strategic Arms Competition

There are concerns that we could be witnessing a potential slow-moving, but cascading, arms competition in the region following China’s deployment of multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), or multiple-warhead missiles, in 2015. In contrast to city-busting nuclear payloads sufficient to hold population centers at risk, MIRVs enable a single missile to carry several nuclear warheads, potentially to strike several distinct targets. War on the Rocks >>

German Govt. Contemplates Mandating Personal Preparedness

Germany – and other EU countries – do a great deal of planning and preparing for emergencies and natural disasters, but very little is ever said about individual preparedness. That may be about to change, at least in Germany, where the press over the weekend has been filled with speculation that later this week the German government will mandate the stockpiling of emergency supplies by the public. Avian Flu Diary >>

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