MRIGlobal has received a 14-month, $9 million contract from the U.S. Army to test and evaluate equipment for identification of chemical, biological, and radiological hazards in the field. The contract is part of the Common Analytical Laboratory System (CALS) program.
The CALS program is overseen by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) Joint Product Manager, Consequence Management (JPdM-CM) and is an effort to update aging technology in the currently fielded Analytical Laboratory System (ALS).
The program additionally seeks a variety of improvements in joint interoperability, linking abilities with external systems, and a “plug-n-play” component module flexibility that will allow the suite of systems to be adaptable and expandable for future mission needs.
MRIGlobal will assess the abilities of detection technologies in relation to specific program goals which include rapid identification of toxins, bacteria and viruses; transportability and ruggedization for mobile and field applications; ability to analyze environmental matrices; and maintainability of technology in austere environments.
“We’re honored to be working with the Army to select the best equipment for use in mobile labs to protect our military and first responders from threats,” said Michael F. Helmstetter, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MRIGlobal. “We are uniquely qualified for this task with our expertise and instrumentation for testing and analyzing agents and explosives.”
MRIGlobal’s analysis will help the Army determine the equipment best suited for the mission of the users, which will likely include the: National Guard’s Weapons of Mass Destruction–Civil Support Teams; 20th CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity (CARA); Naval Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit, Air Force Biological Augmentation Team, and the United States Marine Corps CBIRF Units.
Improvements to the capabilities of these mobile response teams benefit not only the warfighter abroad but also the general population; units such as the Civil Support Teams work routinely with civilian first responders across the United States to respond to suspected CBRN threats.