Threat Reduction Agency Opens New Headquarters
By Maj. Susan Idziak, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
FORT BELVOIR, Va., Jan. 26, 2006 The agency charged with reducing threats against American forces celebrated the opening of its new headquarters building, the Defense Threat Reduction Center, here today.
The new center consolidates five separate locations and more than 1,400 people assigned to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in the Washington metropolitan area into a single, secure facility.
James A. Tegnelia, agency director and host of the ceremony, introduced Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, chief of U.S. Strategic Command, as "part-owner" of the facility in his position as the operational commander responsible for combating weapons of mass destruction. DTRA provides capabilities to reduce, eliminate and counter the WMD threat, and mitigate its effects.
DTRA's "new triad" mission consists of offensive and defensive strategies and infrastructure. These are underpinned by intelligence and command and control. Cartwright said all these missions continue to be critical.
Buildings are only tools, Kenneth J. Krieg, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said during the ceremony. The new facility brings together in one place the intellectual property to safeguard America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction, he said.
Sen. Richard G. Lugar, who co-authored cooperative threat reduction legislation with then-Georgia Sen. Samuel A. Nunn starting back in 1991, thanked DTRA personnel for making the world safer by being on the frontlines of fighting WMDs, the "number one security threat of the United States.".
Strategic Command is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's lead customer, Krieg said. But in the acquisition world, it's also vital to pay attention to investors. Kreig called Lugar DTRA's lead investor and said the senator "expects us to return on his investment."
Dale E. Klein, assistant to the secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, called DTRA the "go-to agency."
"If you have a problem with weapons of mass destruction, just dial 1-800-DTRA," he said.
Five areas will continue to be important to the mission of combating WMD as DTRA develops and grows, Klein said: situational awareness, WMD threat reduction, force protection, the leverage of global assets, and adaptability.
The DTRC's new operations center, with its increased communications capabilities and 24/7 operations, will allow the agency to more effectively support its customers, said Robert Wood, chief of DTRA's Combating WMD Operations Center. A new collaborations center, which provides the capability for real-time science and technology collaboration with DoD and non-DoD organizations, will also help the agency leverage round-the-clock situational awareness and provide decision support of worldwide WMD and related activities.
Construction on the six-story, $107 million, 317,000-square-foot DTRC building began April 1, 2003, and was completed Sept. 23, 2005. About 200 DTRA personnel and guests attended the hour-long ribbon-cutting ceremony, held in the foyer of the new building. DTRA personnel throughout the new center, and in Russia, Japan, Germany, Albuquerque, N.M., and other locations viewed the ceremony via streaming video.
(Air Force Maj. Susan Idziak is assigned to the Defense Press Office.)