The Center for Domestic Preparedness’ Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological Training Facility (COBRATF) this week kicked off its second virtual Chemical Agent Standard Analytical Reference Material (CASARM) audit by the U.S. Army’s Chemical Biological Center.
The Army center is the nation’s principal research and development authority for non-medical chemical and biological defense. Because of the nature of its activity, the COBRATF undergoes a number of routine compliance inspections by experts from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and others.
Due to COVID-19, it was decided the CASARM audit would once again be conducted virtually. The facility also underwent a virtual CASARM inspection in the spring of 2020.
The CDP provided the inspection team copies of various administrative documents in advance, to enable a smooth assessment.
COBRATF staff members are now discussing the documents with members of the inspection team and sharing information about the facility’s operational processes. A virtual tour of the facility will be conducted, so the team can examine the physical training structure. The audit is expected to be complete in about two weeks.
The CDP trains up to 2,500 civilian first responders a year to detect and safely operate in environments with chemical, biological and nuclear materials. It offers the only civilian training courses in the nation featuring live chemical agents, such as GB and VX, and biological materials, such as ricin (Ricin A Chain) and anthrax (Bacillus anthracis delta Sterne). The training increases students’ confidence to deal with these and other hazardous substances during a real-world attack or other incident.