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News | Feb. 1, 2006

U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating WMD achieves IOC

During a ceremony Jan. 26, 2006, commemorating the opening of a new consolidated Defense Threat Reduction Center in Ft. Belvoir, Va. , U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, Commander, United States Strategic Command (CDRUSSTRATCOM), announced the Initial Operating Capability of the new USSTRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (SCC-WMD).

Gen. Cartwright is turning to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to partner with USSTRATCOM in its global mission to combat WMD. ""Bringing the Initial Operating Capability to this function, to this facility, and the people who man it, is critical to the nation's defense,"" said Cartwright.

The center will integrate and synchronize Department of Defense-wide efforts in support of the combating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) mission. A subordinate command to USSTRATCOM, the center will plan, advocate and advise combatant commands on WMD-related matters, to include doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel and facilities. It will also provide recommendations to dissuade, deter and prevent the acquisition, development, transfer or use of WMD, associated technology and related materials.

The center is initially made up of approximately 50 military and civilian personnel located at Ft. Belvoir, Va. , as well as a forward element at Offutt AFB, Neb.

DTRA, with its extensive worldwide information sharing and expertise in the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear fields, will provide critical situational awareness and resources to the SCC-WMD. . The state-of-the art global operations center located at DTRA headquarters at Ft. Belvoir supports an around-the-clock mission that provides a continuous Common Operational Picture of the worldwide WMD environment. With personnel and resources leveraged from within DTRA, USSTRATCOM provides the nation with global deterrence capabilities and synchronized DoD efforts to combat adversary WMD worldwide.

The Secretary of Defense officially designated USSTRATCOM as the lead combatant command for the combating WMD mission on Jan. 6, 2005. On Aug. 26, 2005, Gen. Cartwright, established the SCC-WMD as the lead subordinate command to integrate and synchronize USSTRATCOM's global capabilities with combating WMD operations conducted by the other combatant commanders.

The center will collaborate with multiple U.S. and allied organizations, leveraging 24-hour situational awareness of worldwide WMD and related activities. It will also provide critical planning expertise and develop recommendations to reduce vulnerabilities and improve DoD's effectiveness in combating WMD. The center provides day-to-day and crisis operational support and is prepared to rapidly respond to worldwide WMD-related events in support of USSTRATCOM.

Declaration of IOC is a key milestone in the development of a new military organization. IOC is a validation of procedures and the organizational construct put in place, and details a commitment that the command will exercise its capabilities when called upon.

DTRA safeguards America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high explosives) by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat, and mitigate its effects.

USSTRATCOM is one of nine unified commands under the Department of Defense. The command is a global integrator charged with the missions of Space Operations; Information Operations; Integrated Missile Defense; Global Command and Control; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Global Strike; and Strategic Deterrence.