The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Strategic Command Center for Combatting Weapons of Mass Destruction (SCC-WMD) and Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination (SJFHQ-E) were recently honored with the presentation of Joint Meritorious Unit Awards for their extraordinary efforts to neutralize and dispose of stockpiled Syrian chemical weapons.
The awards were formally presented by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during a Pentagon ceremony this week.
The Joint Meritorious Unit Award is reserved for organizations providing meritorious service, beyond that which is normally expected, or under extraordinary circumstances that involve national interests.
Key to this achievement was the rapid adaptation and fielding of the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, a chemical weapon neutralization system originally intended for use on land. Due to the nature of the conflict on the ground in Syria, these organizations, working with the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC), rapidly redesigned the FDHS into a ship-based system for deployment to the Middle East.
Hagel cited the significant contributions of these organizations to the nation’s strategic efforts to reduce the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to the United States, its interests, and allies by noting that “This was a significant occasion, representing an exemplary whole of government effort.”
Hagel added that accomplishments like this are not new to the Department of Defense, but this mission was truly exceptional and represents a perfect example of how the Department can respond rapidly to emerging threats.
“The mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons is a perfect example of how our team is able to surge to address rapid and real time threats,” said DTRA/SCC-WMD Director Kenneth A. Myers III. “Our actions provided DoD and the nation with a holistic and comprehensive capability to defend the U.S., its interests, and allies against a clear WMD threat.”
DTRA/SCC-WMD and SJFHQ-E work to protect America’s interests from CBRNe weapons by controlling and reducing the threat to the United States and its allies, and providing quality tools and services for the warfighter. This Department of Defense combat support agency is located at Fort Belvoir, Va., and operates field offices worldwide.