Tackling Government Challenges Through Science and Technology:

How DTRA Keeps Tabs on Potential Threats Worldwide

The following is an excerpt from an article by Tom Temin of Federal News Network.

It may not be a household name, but the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, marks 25 years in business this year. It operates in some 50 countries around the world, including within the U.S. armed forces’ combatant commands. DTRA helps build the U.S. military’s capabilities to counteract so-called CBRN threats – chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear – as weapons of mass destruction.

“We’re both what’s called a defense agency and a combat support agency,” said DTRA Director Rebecca Hersman in a detailed interview. On the combat support side, “we work directly with all of the combatant commands. The Joint Staff have personnel embedded in all of those commands, so that we can make sure we have a finger on that pulse. We know what they need, what kind of tools and expertise they need from us to support them in countering WMD.”

On the defense agency side, DTRA helps with what Hersman called capacity-building with friends and allies around the world, principally through a program known as Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR).

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