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Published:June 27th, 2006 04:51 EST

DHS Starts Construction for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center

By SOP newswire

Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson participated today in a groundbreaking ceremony for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.  NBACC is part of President Bush’s vision for Biodefense in the 21st Century and it fulfills requirements in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

“Scientific research is fundamental to reducing the high consequences of a biological attack,” said Deputy Secretary Jackson.  “Our threat picture is ever-changing, and this facility will provide an enduring biodefense capability against these types of emerging threats.”    

The Department’s Science and Technology Directorate will manage the NBACC, and the facility will be located at the new National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC) at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland.  The NIBC campus, including laboratory facilities belonging to the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services, enhances scientific collaboration and leverages available resources, including proximity to other Federal agencies and policy makers.

Construction at the NBACC facility is expected to be complete in 2008.  The facility will comprise roughly 160,000 gross square feet with a concentration of research and associated space.  NBACC will support approximately 120 staff.

NBACC will house two centers, the Biological Threat Characterization Center (BTCC) and the National Bioforensic Analysis Center (NBFAC). The BTCC is charged with defining the characteristics of biothreat agents and conducting rigorous biodefense risk assessments in order to guide national biodefense research, development, and acquisition efforts, and to provide scientific support to the intelligence community. The NBFAC is the lead Federal facility for conducting and facilitating the technical forensic analysis and interpretation of materials recovered following a biological attack to support the appropriate lead Federal agency.

The Science and Technology Directorate serves as the primary research and development arm of the department, utilizing our nation’s scientific and technological resources to provide federal, state and local officials with the technology and capabilities to better protect the homeland.

SOURCE:  Homeland Security