1st Area Medical Laboratory (AML) - Profiles

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1st Area Medical Laboratory (AML)

U.S. Army
Work 5158 Blackhawk Road Aberdeen Proving Ground MD 21010 United States Work Phone: (410) 278-3331 Website: 20th CBRNE Command


The 1st Area Medical Laboratory (AML) is a highly specialized unit which deploys worldwide to conduct field CBRNE threat detection, confirmation, and medical surveillance. The 1st AML could be employed forward when samples cannot quickly be transported to a fixed facility; or if there is a need for immediate hazard identification in high risk environments with chemical or biological agent contamination, epidemic disease or industrial contamination.

The 1st AML is a subordinate unit of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Command first activated March, 20, 1942, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as one of 19 field medical laboratories activated during World War II. It was deactivated following the Vietnam War and reactivated at APG as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory on Sept. 16, 2004.

Analytical capabilities include:

  • CBRNE Threats (field confirmation of biological, chemical and nuclear agents)
  • Medical Surveillance (outbreak investigations, health risk assessments)
  • Zoonotic and Animal Disease (rabies detection and vector-borne diseases)

AMLs have a unique depth of technical expertise on their teams by employing a combination of scientists, clinicians, and certified techs to include the following positions and augments:

  • Environmental Science Officer
  • Microbiologist
  • Biochemist
  • Med Lab Tech /NCO
  • Food Inspection NCO
  • Health Physics Specialist/NCO
  • PrevMed Physician
  • Infectious Disease Physician
  • Veterinary Pathologist
  • Veterinary Microbiologist
  • Nuclear Med Science Officer
  • Entomologist, Sanitary Engineer
  • BioMed Information Management

The 1st AML has tailored deployment team configurations (personnel, vehicles, and equipment pallets) based on the mission requirement.

The 1st Area Medical Laboratory (AML) collaborates with experts at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Ft. Detrick, Md., as required.

A sister unit, the 9th Area Medical Laboratory, was decommissioned in July 2012.


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Command of 1st AML Changes Hands

Col. Mark C. Carder assumed the leadership of the 1st Area Medical Laboratory from Col. Clinton K. Murray during a change of command ceremony on 12 July 2019. Carder comes to APG from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where he served as deputy commander. He is a board certified medical entomologist with the Entomological Society of America.

Who Trains to Run Tests on Deadly CBRN Agents While Taking Mortar Fire? The 1st AML, That’s Who.

The unique mission of the 1st AML requires the team to be prepared to preserve sample chain-of-custody and get answers on unknown substances while potentially defending themselves in combat environments.  In addition to standard military supplies and equipment, they must also deploy bulky lab equipment such as biosafety cabinets, glove boxes and detection systems, as well as personal protection equipment (PPE).