DUGWAY, Utah — Military agencies from around the world are participating in the S/K Challenge at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground.
The event started on May 7th and lasts two weeks.
“It’s very well focused on war fighter training and on the particular problem of terrorist use and therefore, counter terrorism” said Flight Attendant Cris Bond of the British Royal Air Force.
Bond brought 23 members of the Royal Air Force to train on what to do in the event of a chemical attack by terrorists.
“We very much hope that we are an insurance policy and that we are only called upon to respond if these things happen,” Bond said. “We are not looking for this to be a daily event.”
Bond and his troops demonstrated what they would do if a chemical weapon was released in a city.
They dressed in full protective suits and gas masks and treated the simulation like an actual attack.
Dugway Proving Ground is the U.S. Army’s epicenter for testing defense mechanisms to biological or chemical warfare.
“The reason why we are doing this work is to challenge pieces of equipment that provide readiness for the war fighter,” said Vincent Liddiard, Dugway Proving Ground’s Chief of Staff.
Every piece of protective gear or detection device used by United States military members undergoes a rigorous test at Dugway.
“The U.S. government requires an honest broker in testing chemical and biological defense equipment,” Liddiard said. “We are that honest broker.”
Tests with simulated chemicals are conducted outdoors. The facility tests with actual chemical agents, but those are all done inside secured and controlled labs.
“Our work is critical to the war fighters that may encounter chemical weapons,” said Christopher Olson, the director of the Chemical Test Division.
The work done at the site helps the military be steps ahead of the enemy while also giving troops the piece of mind that they can trust their equipment in the event of a dangerous attack.
“There is a real threat in the world today and what we provide is better readiness to save lives,” Liddiard said.
Dugway Proving Ground has been in operation since 1942.
The facility does not develop any chemical weapons. It tests and creates technology to defend against those weapons.