Enhancing Partner Nation Counter-WMD Capabilities
by Darnell Gardner, Defense Threat Reduction Agency
April 3, 2021
In late 2019, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) formed
the Building Partner Capacity Integration Cell (BPCIC) to improve
program coordination amongst the agencies BPC programs, external
influencers, and partner nations. DTRA’s BPC work has long served to
solidify partnerships with foreign nations by working with them to
enhance counter-WMD capabilities. This alliance-building approach
bolsters our partners but also provides multiple benefits to the
United States’ national security.
“The Agency established the
BPCIC with the main objectives of building partnership capacity
using a cohesive and integrated approach,” stated Meghann Daigle,
the executive secretary for the BPCIC. “The Cell supports DTRA’s
programmatic structure by facilitating improved incorporation of
counter-threat network integration to achieve greater strategic
effects. This approach aligns our goals to the Interim National
Security Strategic Guidance, while also assessing partner nation
capability gaps. The BPCIC is also taking on the task of integrating
the newly issued guidance into DTRA’s building partnership capacity
planning and mission alignment.”
Partner nations and U.S.
Joint Forces rely on DTRA’s expertise to address situations
involving counter-WMD planning and execution. DTRA enhances partner
capacity through programs that support maritime and border security,
WMD interdiction and criminal investigation, and nuclear and
chemical security. DTRA also supports international efforts to
conduct disease surveillance, detection, identification, reporting,
and response while also assisting our partners in countering
asymmetric and emerging threats and networks.
March 19, 2021 - The Defense Threat Reduction Agency enhances partner capacity through programs that support maritime and border security, WMD interdiction and criminal investigation, and nuclear and chemical security. One of many ways DTRA builds capacity with partner nations is through the Proliferation Security Maritime Exercise, an international effort to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), missiles, and related materials, which is a threat to the peace and stability of the international community.
(Defense Threat Reduction Agency photo by Darnell Gardner)
“DTRA’s BPC work continues across the globe, in conjunction with
a whole host of interagency and international partners, focused on
helping partner nations achieve their strategic security objectives
that support global security,” explained Steven Greene, co-chair for
In 2019, the Agency conducted an International
Joint Bioterrorism Investigations course to support a 51-member
cadre from the Republic of the Philippines National Bureau of
Investigations, Department of Health, Health Emergency Management
Bureau, Philippine National Police College, and the University of
Philippines System. This effort was one in a series of events that
DTRA conducted in the Philippines, which focused on bridging public
health and law enforcement coordination for bioterrorism incident
investigations. The Government of the Philippines has integrated
many of the disciplines provided by this course into their training
academies and bioterrorism response procedures.
provides partners in the Baltics, Balkans and Black Sea regions with
counter-threat network support. These efforts establish new lines of
communication for additional joint planning assessments across the
region. To date, DTRA facilitated more than 32 bilateral and
multilateral engagements with Bulgarian counterparts. These
engagements improved Bulgarian partner’s ability to thwart WMD
proliferation, and enhanced interoperability between Bulgaria and
regional partner nations that share in regional security, stability,
and peace interests.
Romania, another key DTRA partner in
the region, participated in 45 bilateral and multilateral
counter-proliferation training events and workshops spanning the
last two decades. These efforts have fostered partnership expansions
across the region and strengthened alliances with regional partners.
It is longstanding partnerships like these, in concert with the U.S.
combatant commands that have laid the groundwork with many of our
allies to identify other BPC training and equipment requirements
that once met will further global security.
For many years,
DTRA has held annual workshops with the combatant commands to
increase transparency of ongoing DTRA engagements. The integration
cell has codified these workshops into events that facilitate
greater alignment to the national strategic policy and have
increased interagency partner participation to magnify the impact
and messaging on global capacity building efforts. The workshops
provide an opportunity for the policy-makers to discuss countering
WMD priorities, and align planning for future missions.
“DTRA’s BPC effort is vital in fulfilling the U.S. Government’s
commitment to developing meaningful and long-lasting relationships
with partner nations,” stated David Musgrave, DTRA’s director for
implementing building partner capacity.
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