Magazine article National Defense

Pentagon Spending on Chem-Bio Defense Exceeds $1B

Magazine article National Defense

Pentagon Spending on Chem-Bio Defense Exceeds $1B

Article excerpt

The Pentagon's rising budgets for chemical and biological defense equipment are proof that the department is serious about countering these threats, said a senior official.

"There is a need to quell the panic and provide some sense of assurance to the masses" that defenses are in place, said Anna Johnson- Winegar, deputy assistant to the Secretary of Defense for chemical and biological defense. She spoke recently at a National Defense Industrial Association meeting.

In 2004, the Pentagon requested $1.1 billion for chemical and biological defense equipment she said. That is a slight drop from the 2003 request, reflecting a shift of some programs-and their funds-to the Department of Homeland Security. Thirteen percent, or $145.8 million of the 2004 request, would be dedicated to medical research toward new vaccines, in collaboration with other government agencies and institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health, Johnson-Winegar said.

The largest portion of the request $441.5 million, would be spent on contamination avoidance technologies. Johnson-Winegar cited a few key systems that will continue to be funded during the next five years. Among them is the Joint Bio Standoff Detector System (JBSDS), to track and identify biological weapons clouds. …

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