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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Program ensures NBC products' readiness

By Sgt. Phuong Chau | | April 15, 2003

One day the American military may face the gruesome possibility of a chemical or biological threat, the sole Joint Service Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Equipment Assessment Program managed from MCLB, Albany, GA, ensures that Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP) do not have to worry about the quality of their protective gear.

The Joint Service Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Equipment Assessment Program personnel inspect and test nuclear, biological and chemical defense equipment during different stages of its lifespan to ensure it can perform when needed, said Jack Hart, the program's manager.

Right here in Albany, personnel are ensuring that service members will be protected in case of a NBC threat.

"Our main function within the joint service arena is to ensure the serviceability of the equipment prior to any deployment," said Hart; "to ensure that the current life and serviceability meets the standards set forth by production standards worldwide."

The protective suits' operation is similar to that of an air or water filter. The suits have something similar to a charcoal liner, which prevent agents from ever reaching a wearer.

Hooded masks ensure that the wearer's neck area is protected from contamination. Packaged in vapor sealed bags, today's suits undergo constant cyclic and periodic random sample agent as well as physical properties testing/inspections to ensure its serviceability and reliability.

"We make sure that no one goes in harm's way with gear that is suspect," said Hart. "We have samples of every piece of gear deployed today, and it will be tested in accordance with production standards for serviceability."

The NBC suits are designed to protect the wearer from a wide range of chemicals, including nerve, blister, and biological agents such as anthrax, for up to 24 hours in a contaminated area, said Hart.

According to Hart, the Joint Service NBCD Equipment Assessment Program at MCLB, Albany, GA, plays a vital role to all DoD services, ensuring that all related NBCD gear works the way it should. MCLB Albany is shipping chemical equipment from here and other locations to support the operating forces commanders. So when a person looks at the deployed or overseas service member wearing a protective suit, the suit very likely obtained from the MCLB Albany, GA or Barstow, CA.

"We are out here to support all our services," said Hart.