Fort Belvoir, VA (PRWEB) February 24, 2014
Components of the Departments of Defense and Health & Human Services (HHS) signed a memorandum of understanding and strategy for joint work on February 21 to synchronize current programs and future efforts aimed at preventing, identifying, tracking, and mitigating biological incidents or attacks impacting the United States and our allies and partners.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), United States Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (SCC-WMD), and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have long partnered on international global health projects; the signed memorandum and strategy formalize the intergovernmental relationship and establish a joint steering committee. Moving forward, DTRA/SCC-WMD and the CDC can more easily share resources, eliminate redundancies, and take advantage of collective strengths in support of the Global Health Security Agenda.
“When it comes to biological threats, whether they come from nature or a terrorist’s lab, DTRA/SCC and the CDC share the same goals,” said DTRA/SCC-WMD Director Ken Myers. “We want to identify and eliminate the threat before it can do anyone harm, or respond to one that is already in motion. The agreement brings the DoD and HHS closer together in this vital task. This is a whole of government approach at its best, and it allows us to leverage each other’s knowledge and expertise in making the world safer.”
DTRA/SCC-WMD and the CDC are working together to address biological threats around the globe. Staff from both organizations began efforts with Vietnam and Uganda to strengthen each nation’s bio-response capabilities through education and training exercises.
This announcement comes one week after the initial meeting of the Global Health Security Agenda, where Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced additional U.S. efforts to partner with more than two dozen countries as part of global efforts to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats.
DTRA is the U.S. Department of Defense’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction, addressing the entire spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive threats. DTRA’s programs include basic science research and development, operational support to U.S. warfighters on the front line, and an in-house WMD think tank that aims to anticipate and mitigate future threats long before they have a chance to harm the United States and our allies. SCC-WMD, the U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, synchronizes Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction efforts across our military’s geographic commands and leverages the people, programs and interagency relationships of DTRA at a strategic level. We work with the military services, other elements of the United States government, and countries across the planet on counterproliferation, nonproliferation and WMD reduction issues with one goal in mind: Making the World Safer.