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— Biological Agent Identification and Counterterrorism Training (BAIT) —
Biological Agent Identification and Counterterrorism Training (BAIT) at Fort Detrick provides realistic training scenarios, facilities, and subject matter experts to increase the preparedness of biological threat event responders. Biological agent training events can be custom designed based on the organizations involved and projected threats. To date, training has involved National Guard Civil Support Teams; local, state and federal law enforcement and HAZMAT teams; and federal criminal investigation agencies. Optimal results are obtained when multiple agencies participate as communications, responsibilities, and timelines are realized. Training at offsite locations has also been performed to meet customer needs.
The rapid and decisive response to biological agent incidents and activities by U.S. agencies is vital to public health and national security. Attacks with biological weapons could: Cause catastrophic numbers of acute casualties, long-term disease and disability, psychological trauma, and mass panic; Disrupt critical sectors of our economy and the day-to-day lives of Americans; and create cascading international effects by disrupting and damaging international trade relationships, potentially globalizing the impacts of an attack on United States soil.
The U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, MD leads the way as a national level laboratory for cutting edge research in the field of biological warfare agent research designed to detect and treat personnel.
The Field Operations and Training (FO&T) Branch of USAMRIID’s Diagnostic Systems Division (DSD) was instituted in 1999 to develop procedures and training that enable the use of these cutting edge technologies in field and austere environments. FO&T’s expertise has grown over the years and they have performed many field operations in the U.S. and around the world.
In 1999 FO&T began offering the Field Identification of Biological Warfare Agents (FIBWA) course. This four week course trains military, federal, and state customers to analyze samples in a field environment. The course provides thought provoking scenarios, realistic samples, and hands on training and testing.
A three day course is also available for lab decision makers to acclimate them to the analysis and reporting decision making process.
Due to the fundamental link and complexity between analysis, communication, and sampling; especially during interagency operations, FO&T developed Biological Agent Identification and Counterterrorism Training (BAIT) in 2009. The staff subject matter experts customize and stage scenarios for single or multiple organizations then monitor and critique operations. The outcome is a more proficient organization with increased awareness of internal and external roles and responsibilities during real world activities.
Civil Support Team and other DOD Entities – To continue our Gold standard training, by expanding current FIBWA platform to include situation training exercises that not only test the capability of mobile laboratories, but also incorporate survey, communication and medical sections as they would be utilized during a real world event.
Law Enforcement–Federal/State/Local – To provide a realistic training platform for special entry teams that will be required /allowed to breach the units and clear the site while encountering unfamiliar activities such as clandestine BW production labs, BW packaging and staging areas and hostile occupants that will resist and possibly be infectious.
HAZMAT–Federal/State/Local – To test capability to provide initial site survey and proper decontamination of possibly exposed personnel. Decontamination will include that of entry team, detainees and possible neighbors.
Federal Criminal Investigation Agencies – Exposure to the possible Departments encountered during a BW terrorist event and provide scenarios that will include a number of different avenues to approach for information collection; from the neighbor living nearby – to the girlfriend/boyfriend/co-worker of the suspect attacker. To collaborate/witness the sample and evidence collection. FBI/DHS/USDA/CID/EPA
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