New mobile bio-threat trailer protects U.S. Air Force medical operations

Battelle has designed and delivered the first Laboratory Response Team (LRT) Trailer to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, with subsequent deliveries to other bases including Ohio's Wright-Patterson AFB, North Dakota's Grand Forks AFB and Florida's MacDill AFB. The trailer is a self-contained, climate-controlled laboratory that houses advanced test equipment, such as the Joint Biological Agent Identification System (JBAIDS), to perform rapid analysis and identification of biological agents...

COLUMBUS, OH, March 28, 2007 -- Battelle has designed and delivered the first Laboratory Response Team (LRT) Trailer to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, with subsequent deliveries to other bases including Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio; Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota; and MacDill AFB in Florida.

The LRT Trailer is a self-contained, climate-controlled laboratory that houses advanced test equipment, such as the Joint Biological Agent Identification System (JBAIDS), to perform rapid analysis and identification of biological agents. The trailers provide a new stand-off test capability that allows the LRT to respond to biological incidents and quickly identify threat agents in water, air, food, and clinical samples.

"The Air Force was faced with a real dilemma. How can Laboratory Response Teams rapidly evaluate potential biological threat incidents--without exposing medical forces and patients to the obvious threat of introducing contaminated samples into a medical treatment facility for agent testing?" said Jim Beddard, Battelle Program Manager. "The Battelle LRT Trailer solution is compliant with Headquarters AF directives in that regard, providing the needed protection and safeguards."

The laboratory equipment in the LRT trailer is capable of identifying a suspect agent at the DNA level. That information not only allows military commanders to quickly react to protect their operations, but it also can be invaluable as a resource to support civilian first responders through Defense Support to Civil Authorities in the event of an incident involving a biological agent.

"In an ideal world, perhaps such trailers would not be necessary. But we're in a different environment today in the world," said Brig. Gen. Byron Hepburn, Air Mobility Command Surgeon General. "We have an adversary that is not reluctant at all to use threats like anthrax. This is a key readiness asset, a key readiness platform for our Air Force."

Battelle (www.battelle.org) is the world's largest non-profit independent research and development organization, with 20,000 employees in more than 120 locations worldwide, including five national laboratories Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle conducts $3.8 billion in R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management, and technology commercialization. Battelle provides innovative solutions to some of the world's most important problems including global climate change, sustainable energy technologies, high performance materials, next generation healthcare diagnostics and therapeutics, and advanced security solutions for people, infrastructure, and the nation. Battelle has a long history of developing successful commercial products in collaboration with its clients, ranging from products to fight diabetes, cancer, and heart disease to the development of the office copier machine (Xerox). As a non-profit charitable trust with an eye toward the future, Battelle actively supports and promotes science and math education.

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Also see: "Battelle continues tradition of participation at annual Society of Toxicology meeting"

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