Simulated Biological Attack on the Pentagon

From Science Cheerleader report, Dr. Ohab:

On Saturday, July 11, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), the Defense Agency responsible for protecting the Pentagon, conducted an operational response test to a simulated outdoor airborne biological attack on the Pentagon grounds. The study consisted of the release of a harmless gardening powder into the Pentagon parking area, where nearly 100 citizen volunteers were positioned, followed by subsequent decontamination and surface sampling of the volunteers. The results will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of various emergency personnel and guide future operational responses to attacks on the Pentagon.

Best of all, Pentagon security relaxed its usual restrictions on photography and permitted media to film virtually all aspects of the operation. I had an opportunity to interview various subject matter experts, including Mr. Paul Benda and Dr. Christina Murata, Director and Deputy Director of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Directorate at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, as well as some of the volunteers for a SciCheer video report.

If you’re interested in learning more about the operational response test, check out “Armed with Science”, the Defense Department’s weekly science podcast, this Wednesday at 2pm ET on Pentagon Web Radio. I’ll be interviewing Mr. Benda and Dr. Murata live, and anyone can submit questions before or during the show by posting to the Armed with Science podcast or the Twitter page.