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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 419-02
August 13, 2002

DOD PROJECT 112/SHAD INVESTIGATION INFO NOW ON-LINE

The Department of Defense announced today enhanced efforts to communicate the results of the Project 112/Shipboard Hazard and Defense investigation. A revised site now includes a status report of the declassification of medically relevant information of all Project 112 chemical and biological warfare agent tests conducted in the 1960s. The Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) program was a subset of Project 112 tests conducted by the Deseret Test Center. Between 1963 and 1970 under Project 112, 109 tests were planned. To date, DoD has published 12 fact sheets that chronicle ships and units involved in the SHAD tests, when the tests took place, and the substances to which the crews may have been exposed

"We know that the veterans who participated in Project 112 and Project SHAD tests are interested in the progress of our investigation. The new section on the DeploymentLINK Web site will allow them to monitor our progress," said William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. "This will provide a continuous update until the work is complete."

Currently, the declassification of medically relevant information for 21 of the Project 112 tests is under way; completion and publication of additional fact sheets is expected in early fall. Investigators have also determined that of the 109 identified Project 112 tests, 52 were cancelled, 45 were completed, and the statuses of the remaining 12 are unknown at this time. Official documents reporting test cancellation will be declassified and made available on the site.

Later this month, a team of investigators will travel to Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, to review Deseret Test Center records. Medically relevant information derived from the ongoing investigation will be declassified and made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans and the public. So far, investigators have identified approximately 2,700 to 2,800 servicemembers involved in these tests, many of whom participated in more than one test.

Project SHAD, an acronym for Shipboard Hazard and Defense, was part of the joint service chemical and biological warfare test program conducted during the 1960s. Project SHAD encompassed tests designed to identify U.S. warships' vulnerabilities to attacks with chemical or biological warfare agents and to develop procedures to respond to such attacks while maintaining a war-fighting capability. Although classified, the Department of Defense has been actively pursuing declassification of relevant medical information.

Veterans who believe they were involved in SHAD tests and desire medical evaluations should call the VA's Helpline at (800) 749-8387. SHAD fact sheets are available on line at http://deploymentlink.osd.mil/current_issues/shad/shad_tests.shtml .