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DHS' Progress in 2011: Countering Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Threats

Highlighting Our Progress in 2011

Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department's progress in 2011, emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities to guard against terrorism, and to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

  • DNDO continued its partnership with New York through the Secure the Cities (STC) initiative. Through STC, nearly 11,000 personnel in the New York City region have been trained in preventive radiological and nuclear detection operations and nearly 6,000 pieces of radiological detection equipment have been deployed. In addition, in 2011, DNDO and the New York Police Department sponsored a full-scale exercise for radiological and nuclear detection capabilities in the New York City region to assess the ability of STC partners to detect radiological and nuclear materials and deploy personnel, equipment and special units in response to threat-based intelligence.
  • DNDO facilitated the delivery of radiological and nuclear detection training to more than 4,700 state and local officers and first responders.
  • In FY 2011, DHS' National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) laboratory received its accreditation with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin research and diagnostics on pathogens to understand the scientific basis of the risks posed by biological threats and to attribute their use in bioterrorism events.
  • FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness trained more than 93,500 local, state and tribal responders from across the U.S. in preventing and responding to disasters and other terrorist threats involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials.
  • The Office of Health Affairs (OHA) launched a partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration and the City of Baltimore to develop chemical defense operations and response procedures for subway mass transit, serving as a model for other jurisdictions across the country.
  • Through the BioWatch program, an environmental surveillance system that provides early detection of biological agents, OHA has collected over 200,000 samples in more than 30 cities nationwide to enhance protection and preparedness for high-consequence biological threats.
  • OHA conducted the first-ever detailed testing on automated biodetection systems for national application. These state-of-the art detectors analyze samples and relay results to public health officials, significantly reducing the time needed to detect a biological attack and potentially saving thousands of lives.
Last Updated: 08/24/2022
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