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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)





Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: I am honored to appear before you this morning to provide an update of the Joint Staff and combatant Commanders in Chief -- our regional and supporting CINCs -- efforts to protect our forces against the use of chemical and biological weapons on the battlefield. The Joint Staff and combatant commanders continue to improve our preparedness for possible chemical and biological warfare attacks during combat or conflict. We understand that these weapons can affect our forces everywhere - from here in the United States to a major theater war or smaller scale conflict - and we continue taking measures to minimize the impact of such weapons, should they ever be used.

We continue to approach this challenge broadly - by emphasizing efforts to prevent proliferation from occurring, rolling back proliferation once it has occurred, deterring an adversary from using these weapons, defending from their effects, responding against their use, and managing the consequences resulting from an adversary's attack. We believe successful preparedness against chemical and biological weapons lies in this comprehensive system - no single element can provide complete protection. We continue to support a layered program that balances a set of complementary capabilities - chemical and biological defense; missile and air defense; attack (or counterforce) operations; and consequence management.

As you already know, many challenges remain. Our efforts continue to focus on: improving our contingency planning; integrating emerging defensive capabilities into our overall program to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and coordinating CINCs' priorities with research, development and acquisition programs under development and procurement throughout the defense department.

I would like to highlight our efforts to improve our preparedness for defending from chemical and biological weapons use against our Warfighting Forces.


The preparedness of our forces continues to improve as the result of several related events.

The Fiscal Year 1998 budget plus-up of nearly a billion dollars accelerated the procurement and fielding of a number of critical items of protective equipment, including the new chemical and biological protective suit -- called JSLIST. We are already seeing the results of these accelerated fieldings in places like Korea and Southwest Asia. Importantly, the defense department established the priorities for these funds in large measure because of the CINC’s inputs and priorities.

Our focused efforts to improve our biological warfare protection have also improved our preparedness. Last week, the army completed the activation of a second biological detection unit, nearly doubling our biological detection capability from a few years ago. These two biological detection companies, coupled with the continued fielding of the portal shield fixed site biological detection systems and the Navy's Interim Biological Agent Detector Systems (IBADS), greatly enhance our ability to defend our forces from a biological warfare attack.

I would also like to highlight doctrine and training initiatives that illustrate the Joint Staff's and CINC’s continuing efforts to enhance preparedness.

The US Army Chemical School, supported by the Joint Staff, is developing revised joint doctrine for operations in nuclear biological and chemical (NBC) environments -- Joint Publication 3-11. This revised doctrine will offer current and specific Joint Guidance on principles of NBC Operations across the spectrum of conflict - from peacetime preparedness through combat operations and post-conflict, and include military operations other than war. Specific areas of emphasis include: fundamentals of NBC defense; planning for operations in an NBC environment; force protection measures; Joint rear area decontamination; interagency coordination during joint operations; logistical and medical support; and Joint, component and Host Nation responsibilities. We expect this revised doctrine to be completed and published early next year.

United States Central Command began a series of warfighting seminars in October of 1998 that focuses on chemical and biological warfare implications for planning combat operations in Southwest Asia. This exercise - known as DESERT BREEZE - provides the CINC's staff with a training opportunity to improve their understanding of how these weapons can affect CENTCOM's Warfighting Operations. In 1997, the United States Pacific Command completed a similar exercise - known as CORAL BREEZE.

The military medical community continues its well-developed program for chemical and biological defense including both pre-treatments and post-treatments.

A model force protection program, the anthrax vaccination immunization program, begun in 1997, continues to improve the joint force's preparedness for an anthrax attack. As you know, our plan prioritizes those forces that are at greatest risk - the ones forward deployed in Northeast Asia and Southwest Asia.

In early 1999, the Joint Staff initiated a deployment health surveillance and readiness policy to monitor and track potential health issues related to the areas to which our troops deploy. This policy combines individual health records with environmental and occupational health assessments to identify possible health hazards at the earliest possible moment, allowing for prompt and efficient medical care. This health surveillance program includes identifying the population at risk, recognizing and assessing hazardous exposures, employing specific countermeasures, and monitoring health outcomes.


The CINCs’ communicate their preparedness issues to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff using Joint Monthly Readiness Reviews (JMRRS). "JAMMERS" assess and report the current readiness of US Forces worldwide. Those deficiencies that may require funding action are passed to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) for assessment and resolution. Recent chemical and biological defense JMRR issues have included biological detection, individual protection, and collective protection capabilities.

Every fall, the CINCs develop Integrated Priority Lists (IPL) to communicate to the Secretary of Defense their analysis of Specific challenges to their respective theater. These IPL'S help the Joint Staff in developing Joint Strategic Planning System (JSPS) guidance from the Chairman to the Secretary of Defense to support development of Defense Planning Guidance.

Additionally, the Joint Staff integrates JMRRS and CINC IPLs into the Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment (JWCA) process to develop solutions to the CINCs' chemical and biological defense challenges. The Deterrence and Counterproliferation JWCA specifically focuses on chemical and biological defense capabilities. This JWCA process advocates CINCs' inputs and priorities to the joint NBC defense program, from research and development through planning and budgeting to fielding NBC defense equipment to the force.

The Deterrence and Counterproliferation JWCA team plays an active role in supporting the Joint NBC Defense Board Through both the Joint Service Material Group (JSMG) and Joint Service Integration Group (JSIG).


Our priorities in NBC defense include increasing biological defense capabilities, reducing the threat posed by Chemical and biological warfare to strategic ports and airfields, and improving Joint doctrine to support NBC Defense Operations.

We continue to monitor and support the development and fielding of biological detection and identification capabilities as one of the most important of the CINCs' requirements. The Anthrax Vaccine program and research into other Biological Warfare Vaccines remains a vital component of Comanders' efforts to protect their troops. Along with biological detectors, protective suits and masks, collective protection systems and decontaminants, this critical improvement will help us ensure our Forces can survive and continue to operate should an adversary use these weapons.

The challenge of protecting fixed sites such as ports and airfields remains a CINC concern worldwide. We are continuing efforts to improve the doctrine and equipment necessary to meet this challenge. One initiative that may help us improve the protection of these facilities is a proposed Restoration Operations Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstration (RESTOPS ACTD). Tentatively scheduled to be conducted in Korea, this ACTD is expected to provide invaluable insights into how we can best improve our fixed site Defensive capabilities.

As previously described, we continue working to improve joint doctrine in this area. Joint doctrine is an ongoing process of identifying the services wartime and peacetime concerns, and developing procedures and guidance that enable the four services to cooperatively address the challenges of weapons of mass destruction while maximizing the use of our resources.


We continue improving strategies and programs to ensure combatant commanders have the guidance and equipment necessary to survive and sustain combat operations in a contaminated environment. This continuous process of evaluating and assessing the challenges of countering proliferation of these weapons grows with every year, as potential adversaries continue to develop weapons of mass destruction. The Department of Defense continues to focus on a strategy that addresses the full spectrum of options to protect troops, US civilians and others in potential high risk regions of the world. This strategy employs all the elements of our counterproliferation programs to take best advantages of each capability. The Joint Staff and CINCs are confronting this challenge through deliberate planning in each Theater while acquisition programs -- structured to meet their warfighting priorities -- proceed from R&D to fielded capability. Our concerted efforts have generated considerable progress and we are confident of our continued success in the coming years.

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