Military units from around the world participate in training at Dugway
DUGWAY, Utah – Deep in Utah’s West Desert, military units from around the world are testing their readiness to defend against chemical and biological weapons.
For two weeks, Dugway Proving Ground is hosting the S/K Challenge. It’s a challenge that helps the military train Skills and Kits, or equipment.
During the challenge, all the participants share the cost of the program to make it affordable. Dugway’s mission is to test and evaluate defenses against chemical and biological weapons.
“We’ve been coming here to Dugway for literally some 13 years of training,” says Flight Lieutenant Chris Bond, of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.
The members of Bond’s unit receive training on how to investigate after a simulated chemical weapons attack. The unit has come to Dugway Proving Ground annually for 13 years.
“The step-up here is to deal with those high-end problems and the skills that Dugway teaches are absolutely critical to do that,” Bond says.
The base also has facilities to test equipment designed to detect and protect against biological and chemical weapons.
“The US government requires an honest broker in testing chemical and biological defensive equipment. We are that honest broker,” says Dugway Proving Ground Chief of Staff Vincent Liddiard.
Before the military will issue new protective clothing or masks to troops, they must be sure the equipment will stand up to chemical agents. A test facility on the base allow workers there to test the equipment against those agents.
“Dugway Proving Ground is a national asset that provides a very unique combination of environmental capabilities, and laboratories, and subject matter experts that provide technical expertise for tactical application,” Liddiard says.
The base also has facilities that allow workers to test detection systems using simulants that mimic chemical agents.
The S/K Challenge will continue through May 18.
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