Newly upgraded chem/bio facility ready to begin testing

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs
The newly renovated, renamed, updated and upgraded Dynamic Entry/Exit Test Module was officially opened Feb. 18 here on base. 

"The Dynamic Entry/Exit Test Module was designed to specifically test new collective protection systems like shelters, protective liners, air purification systems, environmental control systems, and airlocks to include entry/exit tactics, techniques and procedures," said Scott Matheson, test director for 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Jacobs Engineering. "Systems are tested using approved chemical and biological defense simulants under operationally realistic environments to ensure today's warfighters can survive, fight and win."

The DEETM is run by the Agile Combat Support Division of the 28 TES.

The building itself has always supported chemical defense testing since its inception in 1986. It has undergone numerous upgrades to serve agile combat support operational testing and more joint chemical and biological testing.

The new $2.6 million additions have incorporated a new test chamber, a laboratory, instrument and mechanical rooms and airlocks along with $1.1 million in test equipment and instrumentation.

"A chemical, biological or radiological airborne threat can come from a wartime attack, terrorist attack or from an industrial accident," said Mr. Matheson. "Protection of personnel during and following these events can be achieved by evacuation from the affected area, wearing individual protective clothing and protective masks or through collective protection."

At the ribbon cutting-ceremony, the DEETM staff demonstrated an on-going entry/exit point procedure that measures contamination levels in a tent as more people come in or leave the area.

"Wearing protective clothing for extended periods can also impair the individual unless provided a protected location for rest and relief," said Mr. Matheson.

The new lab now allows for real-time sampling of the simulants and contaminations and saves up to $20,000 per test. Before the lab opened, the samples had to be sent to Maryland for processing. This method took a full month. Now it takes less than a day.

The 53d Wing was honored to have Ms. Terri Kocher from the Chemical and Biological Defense Program, Test and Evaluation Executive serve as keynote speaker. She described how far collective protection testing has come and stressed the significance of joint partnerships.

"Our test team and the DEETM fulfills a key part of the overall 53d Wing mission by testing systems perfecting the survivability and sustainability of our nation's combat forces," said Anthony Ordner, the Director, Agile Combat Support Division.