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DOD's Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Leader Travels to United Kingdom

Deborah G. Rosenblum, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, delivered a clear message for the importance of international collaboration in order to achieve a future free from chemical weapons and the threat of their use during the 24th International Chemical Weapons Demilitarization Conference last week in London. 

A woman with a notepad and a facemask talks to a group of workers wearing personally protective equipment.
Equipment Talk
An industrial hygienist discusses monitoring equipment with a tanker loading team prior to the first hydrolysate loading operation at the Tanker Loading Station at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Richmond, Ky., Nov. 2022.
Photo By: Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives
VIRIN: 211115-O-D0439-1001

"The threats posed by chemical weapons continue to grow, and the norms against use continue to atrophy; we must come together to reverse this trend," said Rosenblum. 

Organized by the U.K. Defense Ministry's Science and Technology Laboratory, the annual convention provides the platform for international partners and professionals to collaborate on challenges related to the demilitarization of chemical weapons as well as demonstrate a shared commitment to eliminating this class of weapons of mass destruction. 

With an opportunity to highlight the evolution of chemical capabilities and the need for innovation to safely eliminate evolving threats, Rosenblum called on the international community to engage in collectively developing solutions and outlined the role the U.S. plays in addressing these challenges. 

A man in personally protective equipment pries wood off a rack of rockets.
Plant Work
A Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant worker unpalletizes M55 rockets containing VX nerve agent in the unpack area of the facility in Richmond, Ky., Sept. 2021.
Photo By: Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives
VIRIN: 210915-O-D0439-1001A

"This dichotomy of those seeking to uphold the tenets of the [Chemical Weapons Convention] and a parallel world where nations discard long-standing norms by pursuing and employing offensive chemical weapons highlights why our collective efforts to reduce chemical weapons threats is so important — and why we must continue to strive to keep pace with these threats," said Rosenblum. 

Rosenblum's participation at the CWD comes as the U.S. remains on track with treaty compliance and international CWC obligations to meet the 2023 stockpile elimination deadline. 

A woman wearing a hardhat gestures toward something in a warehouse while a group of workers also wearing hard hats look on.
Plant Tour
Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection visit the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant static detonation chamber sites in Richmond, Ky., March 23, 2022. During their visit, subject matter experts provided project information and answered questions.
Photo By: Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives
VIRIN: 220323-O-D0439-1001

As a leader in the global disarmament community, the OASD(NCB) advances a clear vision and mission to ensure the Defense Department is a world leader in defending against current and future nuclear, chemical and biological threats. This vision requires building partners' capacity to secure chemicals of concern and develop cutting-edge solutions to counter these threats, including delivering innovative expeditionary products that are transportable, safe and cost effective.   

While abroad, Rosenblum also joined Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and other senior military officials from around the world at the latest assembly of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Ramstein, Germany. Representing the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, she provided updates on recent acquisition and production efforts in support of Ukraine. 

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