Category Archives: CST & CBRNE Source Book

Wanted: Ebola Vaccine

Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases pitches in to stem the tide.

By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News

During a recent interview, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) scientists described their vaccine and drug-development research, development processes, and products in development for the Ebola virus and other infectious diseases. (more…)

Ebola Response: Detecting the Disease

Ebola virus particles

How existing and emerging technologies can help stop the spread of a worldwide epidemic.

By Steve Melito, S&BP Editor

In October, Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. after medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital initially misdiagnosed his condition. Later that month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Ebola Virus VP40 Real-Time RT-PCR assay on the 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR instrument from Applied Biosystems (ABI), Inc. This polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrument uses real-time nucleic acid amplification and five-color fluorescence detection for in vitro diagnostic use.


Countering Nuclear Terrorism: How DNDO Supports Detection and Forensics

radiation portal DHS border crossing

An Interview with Dr. Huban Gowadia, Director, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Dr. Huban A. Gowadia was appointed as the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) on 20 September 2013. Under her leadership, DNDO develops nuclear detection capabilities, measures detector system performance, ensures effective response to detection alarms, conducts transformational research and development, and coordinates the improvement of technical nuclear forensics capabilities across the U.S. Government. Prior to this role, Dr. Gowadia served at DNDO as the Acting Director from 2012 to 2013 and in several other roles since 2005. 


Fielding Readiness Through Training


An interview with Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Army CBRN School, Colonel Jeffrey Brodeur.

By Kevin Hunter

CST & CBRNE: Please speak to your role and functions as Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army CBRN School, Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

COL Brodeur: As Assistant Commandant, my role is to continue to implement the vision of the previous Commandant and Chief of the Chemical Regiment, Brigadier General Peggy Combs. The task is both simple and complex. She articulated a clear vision; however, there are many challenges in trying to program resources to increase our capabilities over the next seven to ten years.


Germs, Spores, and Borders

Protecting the U.S. Homeland from Biological Threats Requires a Holistic Approach

By Steve Melito


Last December, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed its leading health challenges of 2013. “Our biggest successes,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, “may be the bad things that did not happen.” This included stopping the outbreak of a smallpox-like virus in the Eurasian Republic of Georgia, and preventing other infectious diseases from reaching the U.S. “Global health and protecting our country go hand in hand,” Dr. Frieden explained.

The CDC isn’t part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but DHS works in concert with the nation’s health protection agency. The DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) also coordinates efforts with the U.S. Department of State to share information both across the U.S. federal government and with Canada and Mexico. As part of OHA, the National Biosurveillance Center (NBIC) integrates biomonitoring activities to provide a common operating picture.


A City Rocked, A Team Ready

This article first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of CST & CBRNE Source Book.

By Major Matthew Woolums

At 0500 on 15 April 2013, our personnel as well as personnel attached from the 13th (Rhode Island) and 24th (New York City) WMD-CSTs moved out to begin operations for the 117th Boston Marathon. We had done this mission several years previously and were prepared to conduct operations as we had done in the past. Little did any of us know this was not just another operation but instead a day that would live with us forever.

At about 1448, 1SG Gary Mauk and SFC Max McKenna, RECON NCO, informed me they were headed to the finish line to troubleshoot our remote sensors. At 1450, I was standing outside our Tactical Operations Center, two blocks north of the finish line, when I heard and felt the first explosion. Initially everyone was silent, trying to determine what produced the blast. Approximately 10 seconds later, the second blast rang out—something seemed seriously wrong. The crowd panicked and began fleeing the area. 1SG Mauk and SFC McKenna were running back toward my location with a sea of civilians behind them desperately trying to evacuate the area. All I could think about was the safety of our personnel in the vicinity of the blast. We had six personnel unaccounted for, and CPT Veronica Mack, Operations Officer, was unable to reach them by radio or phone. That is when 1SG Mauk and I jumped into our command vehicle and raced to the finish line.