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NEWS | May 8, 2023

DTRA to the U.S. Joint Forces…We have the Technology!

By Darnell Gardner Defense Threat Reduction Agency

As the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threat continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, so does the need to continually shape the U.S. Joint Force’s counter-threat capabilities. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in its role as the Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program meets this challenge by sponsoring the Chemical Biological Operational Analysis (CBOA) field experiment. This large-scale user assessment provides an opportunity for government organizations, Industry, and Academia technology developers to hand off their science and Technology (S&T) prototypes to U.S. Joint Forces members to use while conducting real-world CBRN-contested training scenarios at Camp Dawson, West Virginia, beginning on May 8.

This year marks the fifth annual-CBOA event and will focus on near-peer adversaries that comprise the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDO-PACOM) threat matrix. Joint Forces members will evaluate approximately 30 counter-WMD technologies for form, fit and function, then provide critical user input directly to technology developers based on operator and adversarial perspectives. On-the-spot feedback will provide vital information to identify improvements, uncover technology shortfalls, steer developmental priorities and confirm, or course-correct developmental approaches.

Joint Force members participating in the week-long, non-attributional field experiment will receive specialized training on prototypes from onsite technology developers. As the exercise progresses, the scenarios increase in complexity with the intent of exploring the technology’s capability reach. After each scenario, end-users provide vital technology assessments for analysis, which informs technology developers on how to better shape a deliberate roadmap to future innovations.

The User Feedback Tent for Technology Concepts, commonly called the Concept Tent, will provide a venue for exploring new ideas and emerging capabilities. This year attendees will have access to 23 emerging technology concepts. After a short presentation, Joint Forces will identify potential areas for improvement, employment and potential chemical or biological defense applications for each innovative concept. Emerging technology concepts in the Concept Tent will not be utilized in the scenarios.
The CBOA experience provides a realistic, relevant, operator-driven assessment that challenges Joint Force members to directly influence counter-WMD capabilities and for DTRA science and technology managers to develop and deliver innovative and military useful capabilities to the warfighter across the threat spectrum.

For more information on DTRA-JSTO’s programs and other programs within DTRA, visit


DTRA provides cross-cutting solutions to enable the Department of Defense, the United States Government, and international partners to Deter strategic attack against the United States and its allies; Prevent, reduce, and counter WMD and emerging threats; and Prevail against WMD-armed adversaries in crisis and conflict.