Chemical troops of the US Army National Guard (ARNG) of Delaware and Maryland are testing the operational use of a chemical and biological threat response system.
The new Analytical System Increment 1 A1 (ALS INC1 A1) threat response system can be deployed quickly to the contamination sites.
US Army Operational Test Command (OTC) Test Operations and Samples Control NCO sergeant 1st Class Crystal G Wright said: “The army needs to prepare and respond to potential chemical and biological threats with a next-generation laboratory.”
The limited user test (LUT) of the system is being carried out by Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) of Maryland’s 32nd and Delaware’s 31st.
Testing involves a training scenario featuring a fictional chemical and biological laboratory that has been damaged due to Hurricane Zelda, resulting in the loss of various hazardous materials.
Troops test the ALS equipment with a range of chemical and biological samples provided by a chemical operations non-commissioned officer (NCO) for five days. Each soldier reports to the incident commander (IC) every day.
Following off-site processing of the samples, a detailed analysis and advice on methods to alleviate the effects are provided to the IC.
This will allow the system’s effectiveness, suitability and survivability to be tested in today’s battlefield.
Wright added: “The ALS will provide the WMD-CST with the ability to quickly move to a possible contamination site, analyse chemical, biological agents and radioisotopes, and provide analysis results to the incident commander in real-time.”
ALS Increment 1 is a system enhancement programme that seeks to replace the existing mobile ALS and interim dismounted analytical platform.
The new system can be deployed via C-5 and C-17 cargo aircraft, and landing craft air cushioned hovercraft from ship-to-shore.
OTC test officer and operational research systems analyst Danielle M Huckabee said: “Incident commanders rely on observation and analysis results within the analytical information management systems (AIMS), and system operators also have the capability to communicate with the IC, subject matter experts, and other decision-making authorities on the results analyses.”