Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Army Plans Addition to Biodefense Lab
The U.S. Army is planning to more than double the size of a biodefense facility at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, the Tooele Transcript Bulletin reported on Monday (see GSN, March 25, 2011).
The $22.6 million project -- awarded last week to Big-D Construction of Salt Lake City -- would expand the Lothar Salomon Life Sciences Test Facility from 33,150 square feet to 74,150 square feet. It is projected to unfold over roughly two years and conclude in May 2015.
Dugway Proving Ground spokeswoman Bonnie Robinson said the effort would permit preparation and trials of gear that would enable troops and emergency personnel to find potential biological agents and determine their type. Equipment developed at the site also would include protective gear and remediation systems.
"The concern is the threat of biological warfare,” the official said in prepared remarks. “Our job at Dugway Proving Ground is to help protect our service members, first responders and the American citizens from a biological attack by ensuring that warfighters and the responders both have the best protective gear and testing and decontamination equipment to ensure a quick and successful response."
She said the site slated to receive the upgrade is the sole location under Pentagon oversight with the authority to vet experimental systems using airborne disease materials.
Life Sciences Division head Douglas Andersen said "a significant portion of the addition will be administrative space and will allow us to locate personnel closer to the laboratory areas where they work.”
“Overall, projects will be similar to the past, but our capacity (for testing) will increase, and we will be able to set aside specific labs for specific test programs and processes,” Andersen said (Lisa Christensen, Tooele Transcript Bulletin, Aug. 14).
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