Lethality

House Hearing Focuses on Weapons of Mass Destruction

April 4, 2019 | BY David Vergun

Experts in the Defense Department's strategy, policy and programs for countering weapons of mass destruction testified at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on intelligence and emerging threats and capabilities.

Woman holds test tube
Team Inspection
Army survey team member Staff Sgt. Nicky Lam of the New Jersey National Guard’s 21st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team inspects vials at a simulated crime scene during a training exercise at Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark in Sandy Hook, N.J., Sept. 25, 2018. The team supports civil authorities at man-made or natural disasters by identifying chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances, as well as assessing the consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting in requesting follow-on forces.
Photo By: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen, New Jersey National Guard
VIRIN: 180927-Z-AL508-1250C

Weapons of mass destruction are nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or any other weapon that can kill significant numbers of people and cause great damage to infrastructure and/or the planet.

DOD is tasked with protecting Americans from all types of WMDs. It shares this mission with the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the Energy Department and other government agencies.

Woman holds air-monitoring device
Equipment Monitoring
Army survey team member Sgt. Tricia C. Madrigal of the New Jersey National Guard’s 21st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team loads air monitoring equipment during a training exercise at Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark in Sandy Hook, N.J., Sept. 25, 2018. The team supports civil authorities at man-made or natural disasters by identifying chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances, as well as assessing the consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting in requesting follow-on forces.
Photo By: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen, New Jersey National Guard
VIRIN: 180927-Z-AL508-1063C

America depends on allies and partners throughout the world to assist in this mission. Here are some examples:

1
NATO shares intelligence and coordination in defending from WMDs.
2
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is a combined U.S.-Canadian organization that provides aerospace warnings of enemy aircraft and missiles.
3
The U.S. also has a number of bilateral treaties, such as agreements with Japan and South Korea, that work to prevent WMD attacks.