Last week, the fourth edition of NCT USA 2018 took place from April 3rd to April 5th at the Hilton Dulles Airport Hotel. The CBRNe Society once again had the great pleasure to welcome new and loyal participants, speakers and exhibitors from a broad range of organizations that commit to making this world a safe and secure place. Almost 200 delegates and 16 exhibitors came from across the United States, South America, Europe and the Middle East to profit from the unique networking opportunities that NCT events offer. The mix of civil first responders, federal decision-makers and influencers, industry representatives and military created interesting discussions, contributing to the advancement of local and global resilience against CBRNe threats. The CBRNe Society would especially like to thank the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Fairfax County Police Department and our NCT Chairman Brig. Gen. (ret.) William King.
Following the NCT tradition, the event kicked-off with a live capability demonstration performed by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Hazmat Team and the Fairfax County Police Department Bomb Squad. This year the real-life Hazmat-EOD scenario featured an improvised illegal drug laboratory situated in a hotel room. The scenario started with a call from a hotel about a guest who was taking and manufacturing drugs in his room. After interrogation, the guest admits to the police that he had hidden an explosive device in the room.
Based on the information given by the suspect, the EOD robot entered the hotel room in order to identify the suspicious device through X-ray. The EOD robot, mounted with detection equipment, allowed the team to identify and neutralize the threat. As such, the area was made safe and secure for the Hazmat team to enter.
With the go-ahead of the Bomb Squad, the Hazmat team started to decontaminate the room. After sampling it was determined that the suspect had used the hotel room as a Fentanyl production laboratory. Once the room had been entirely decontaminated by the Hazmat team, the final procedure involved the decontamination of all first responders.
This live capability demonstration showed the importance of close cooperation between a hazmat team and a bomb squad in order to render the situation safe and secure. In light of recent events, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Hazmat Team and the Fairfax County Police Department Bomb Squad preformed a topical demonstration which alludes to the current opioid crisis that the USA is experiencing today.
The decontamination products of First Line Technologies, a proud exhibitor of NCT USA 2018, were used. A stream of the live capability demonstration can be found on their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/firstlinetech/.
This year, the opening plenary welcomed an exceptional panel of speakers including the Honorable Guy Roberts, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, Dr. Wendin Smith, Senior Advisor to the Commanding General of the U.S. Special Operations Command for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Dr. Ronald Hann, Director of Chemical/Biological Technologies Department at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).
Many important topics were discussed such as the rapid advancement of technology and the challenges this poses for legislators to accommodate these developments, the inclusion of cyber in the SOCOM structure and SOCOM’s need to adapt its role as a coordinating body. Additionally, the indigenous development of chemical weapons by non-state actors such as ISIS, and the threat that originates from the fast spread of information on how to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) were extensively discussed.
To conclude the opening plenary Chairman Brig. Gen. (ret.) William King pointed out, “the Department of Defense is making huge strides in their efforts to include a new Unity of Purpose Council. Much more work is needed to corral the rest of the Federal Government Agencies onto the Team of Teams-approach required to make our CWMD Strategies work effectively.”
To view our livestream of the opening plenary please visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ibconsultancy. To view the videos directly please click on the following links: https://bit.ly/2GUQXLe and https://bit.ly/2HfdA02.
IB Consultancy introduced a new concept at NCT USA: the NCT Expo Tour. During the expo tour, delegates signed up for a Tour Theme, each led by a IB Consultancy team member. This year there were five themes:
The Expo Tour is designed for exhibitors to introduce their company and demonstrate their technologies and products to a specific audience consisting mostly of end-users. Simultaneously, it gives participants the opportunity to ask questions about the latest solutions on the market and how these could be implemented in their missions and mandates.
The first Expo Tour was exceptionally well received by all participants, stimulating an interaction between both industry and end-users. It created analytical dialogues on how state-of-the art and novel technologies can further contribute to a better response to all types of CBRNe threats.
The Static Display, including a showcase of Fairfax County’s Hazmat capabilities, allowed for these discussions to be continued in further depth over a cold beer.
The NCT Conference also welcomed high level speakers who spoke about a variety of topics. In the main conference room, Dr. Jeffrey H. Musk, Chief of the Nuclear Detection Division at DTRA gave his insights on emerging nuclear detection technologies whereas Mr. Richard Coleman, Bomb Squad Commander of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) shared his thoughts on the emerging threat of UAVs and which methods to use when countering these threats. Simultaneously, Col. David Hammer, Joint Project Manager for Medical Countermeasure Systems shared his division’s approach on the capabilities and products they currently possess and how they meet the needs of the Warfighter.
The second day of conference was opened by a session about Neutralizing IEDs and a workshop on Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) RadResponder Network, followed by a session on Biological and Radiological Terrorism in Densely Populated Areas. This session included a range of speakers including Mr. Robert Jones, Assistant Director of the WMD Directorate at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mr. Jesus Cuartas, Branch Chief of Response Operational Planning of DHS FEMA Region II.
The conference closed with a briefing of Col. Chamon Malizia De Lamare, CBRN Advisor to the Joint Operations Chief at the Ministry of Defense of Brazil. After his presentation, Ilja Bonsen, Managing Director at IB Consultancy and Mrs. Anna Paternnosto, vice president of Governmental Affairs at the CBRNe Society, presented gifts from the Netherlands to mark the start of a fruitful partnership in organizing NCT South America 2019 which will take place in Rio de Janeiro from from 5-7 February 2019!
Addressing several aspects of CBRNe emergency preparedness and response the fourth edition of NCT USA once again successfully brought together all the relevant stakeholders in the field. It provided the perfect networking and knowledge-sharing platform, as well as the chance to discuss the latest CBRNe solutions and capabilities with first-responders, industry representatives and federal officials.
The next edition of NCT USA will return to the Hilton Washington Dulles Hotel in 2019 at the end of April/beginning of May.
More information about the event will be published soon!