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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 277-03
April 25, 2003

FIRST JOINT PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE FORMED

The Department of Defense today announced the formation of the first ever Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD). This DoD initiative will focus on the protection of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines against the use of battlefield chemical and biological weapons. The JPEO will be led by Brig. Gen. Stephen V. Reeves and will be located in the National Capital Region.

A joint program serves the needs of two or more armed services. DoD, recognizing the importance and magnitude of this endeavor, has established this office as the first ever joint program executive office encompassing many diverse programs, over a wide scope of capabilities, serving the needs of all the armed services. The JPEO-CBD was formed from the Army's existing Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, as well as current Navy, Air Force, and Marine chemical and biological defense program offices. The JPEO-CBD will further streamline chemical and biological acquisition and leverage the unique capabilities from each of the services.

The JPEO-CBD will also be responsible for research, development, acquisition, fielding, and life-cycle support of chemical and biological defense equipment and medical countermeasures supporting the national military strategy. The Iraq War and the threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists or rogue nations have recently highlighted the importance of defense against chemical and biological warfare.

Some of the JPEO-CBD programs include chemical and biological detection devices; medical vaccines, pretreatments, therapeutics and diagnostic equipment; individual protective masks and suits; collective protection shelters; decontamination equipment and systems; and warning and reporting systems. The JPEO-CBD programs will also include developing and fielding equipment for the National Guard's weapons of mass destruction civil support teams and installation and force protection.

The Army remains the executive agent for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program, in accordance with existing law. The JPEO-CBD will report to the Army acquisition executive and defense acquisition executive.

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