Division Chair Letter

Letter from the Division Chair

Welcome to the 2024 CBRN Defense Conference and Exhibition where we will discuss Implementing the National BioDefense/Pandemic Preparedness and DoD CWMD Strategies: Inflection Point - We must ACT NOW or Risk/Gamble the Future!

The 2024 Nation’s and Department of Defense’s new Strategies or ways of doing business, is one Whole of Nation with Allies and Partners – integrated team and informed concepts created through collaboration across the Whole of Government, and I would offer, Whole of Society, with industry. A team of teams knowledge-based concept is a top priority for our Nation and the Department of Defense. At this conference, you should anticipate and drive in-depth discussions on evolving threats, requisite future capabilities and capacities for pandemic preparedness and response, resiliency of the Industrial Base, and the future of warfighter training and readiness.

We are tired of hearing about, experiencing, and living through the trauma, life challenges, and losses from COVID 19, and the scare of continued pandemics and catastrophic WMD events. Over the past three plus years of living through this nightmare, well over 1.1 million Americans lost their lives and 30+ Trillion of lost National Treasure associated with COVID 19.

We are still dragging our feet and, in some cases, reversing efforts already made on what needs to be done to prepare NOW. My fear is that we are losing each day the momentum and desire to ACT NOW. A great read and what I believe is spot on target with recommendations is in the 9 March 2022 Bipartisan Commission on Biological Defense Report. The Commission recently issued their 2.0 version of the report in a public forum in their DC office and continues to provide an online status tracker of the actions taken and more importantly NOT TAKEN.

The President of the United States and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff have called this an Inflection Point in a Decisive Decade. Whether we chose to ACT NOW to win the next war or accept that we will lose, and in my personal words, lose greater lives and treasures, and maybe even our way of life as we know it if we chose not to ACT NOW and gamble the future.

Accordingly, leadership is fully committed to the ethos of a learning organization and thus the acceleration and adaptation of lessons, not simply observations, but the learnings from our shared experience with COVID over the last three years as well as our process for improving readiness and achieving modernization goals.  Thus, we will be able to change the future fight and enable our warfighters to dominate and win. In fact, we have proven last year that we are resilient, adaptable, and must accelerate acquisition and contracting processes. In this way, all current and future threats can be quickly defeated. Likewise, we must adapt our current training methods by incorporating current capabilities and future technologies to enhance the lethality, protection, and survivability of our combat systems. In the end, these efforts will assure our warfighters’ domination in the future fight. In support of these efforts, the 2024 CBRN Defense Conference and Exhibition has a multifaceted and diverse agenda. For example, you will hear about leadership’s approach to responding and now preparing for pandemics and implementing necessary acquisition reforms; building and reinforcing the resiliency of the Industrial Base; CBRN defense requirements in the context of current and future threats and vulnerabilities; emerging national and international CBRN defense technologies; medical and non-medical countermeasure solutions; advanced development and manufacturing needs; and promising research and development opportunities from our interagency partners. You will hear about what we are doing NOW to address current and future challenges.

Hosted by the NDIA CBRN Defense Division and the Chemical Biological Defense Acquisition Initiatives Forum, this Conference will also feature attendance from the Combatant Commands, Services, select Other Federal Agencies, the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense, and select Industry Leaders. This is another exciting year for the one-team CBRN defense community. By defining challenges and delivering solutions and not just admiring the challenges, we continue to shape and improve our products and capabilities against threats while adapting training methods and facilities with a steadfast leadership commitment to win.

We thank the exhibitors and sponsors of this event for having provided the support necessary to create a quality experience for all participants. We appreciate their partnership and urge you to learn more about their organizations’ capabilities. Please enjoy the 2024 CBRN Defense Conference and Exhibition and come with your questions, suggestions, and innovative ideas, and make time to check out the industry exhibitions and poster sessions. I look forward to speaking with you.



William E. King IV

Brigadier General, USA (Ret)

Chairman, CBRN Division, NDIA