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    Army Scientist Appointed to Global Board to Eliminate Chemical Weapons



    Story by Jerilyn Coleman 

    U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center

    Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD -- A scientist at the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) has been appointed to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Scientific Advisory Board.

    Dr. Robert Kristovich leads a team of Center experts whose job is to evaluate emerging chemical agent threats facing the Nation. “When the DOD’s Chemical Biological Defense Program identifies a new threat somewhere in the world that the warfighter might face, they come to us to evaluate it and try to figure out how much they should worry about it,” Kristovich said. “On behalf of the Center, I’m proud of this opportunity to serve on the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board. We don’t do anything by ourselves at the Center. It really shines a light on that deep scientific expertise that we have here, and makes me proud to be part of the mission.”

    Kristovich’s appointment to the Scientific Advisory Board was announced at the 98th Session of the OPCW’s Executive Council and began Jan. 1, 2022.

    Formed in 1997, the OPCW is a global body of 193 member states across the world including the U.S. The organization’s mission is to oversee the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty and pursue the permanent elimination of chemical weapons. The Scientific Advisory Board consists of 25 appointed individuals from member nations throughout the world, and was established to render special advice to the Director-General of the OPCW in the areas of science and technology. In 2013, the OPCW’s efforts earned the Nobel Peace Prize. “It is a truly outstanding organization that makes the world a safer place,” Kristovich said.

    Kristovich has proven his dedication to researching the science behind harmful chemical weapons. In 2019, he helped lead efforts that added two classes of nerve agents from the Novichok-series to the OPCW’s Schedule 1 list of banned substances. Kristovich provided technical expertise to discover the underlying science behind Novichok’s lethality and helped the OPCW understand the need to counter the proliferation of these deadly compounds. Currently he is supporting the U.S. Chemical Biological Defense Program and the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a senior advisor, providing a strategic plan and vision for the future of science and technology and how the program can use that information to help the warfighter.

    According to Kristovich, his appointment to the Science Advisory Board is a natural fit since the OPCW and the Center work synergistically with a common mission to protect the world from chemical warfare materials. Among the CBC facilities that Kristovich is responsible for is the Forensic Analytical Center, which is one of two OPCW-accredited laboratories for the United States. “We are the nation’s premier non-medical chemical defense laboratory. We work very closely with the OPCW mission, informing a lot of the decisions that are made,” said Kristovich.

    According to CBC Director Dr. Eric Moore, one of the Center’s roles is to provide the nation with leaders in chemical biological defense. “Dr. Kristovich’s hard work and passion for the chemical biological defense mission is one major example of how CBC employees make a difference in not only our nation but our world,” Moore said. “We look forward to the work he will accomplish and our continued partnership with the OPCW.”

    Moving forward, Kristovich has goals to help the OPCW respond to the use of chemical weapons and use his expertise to help the organization prepare for not just threats of today but to be aware of what to look out for in the future. He also hopes to continue to grow the relationship between the OPCW and the DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center.

    The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) leads in the discovery, development and delivery of technology-based capabilities to enable Soldiers to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering and field operations. The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.



    Date Taken: 02.07.2022
    Date Posted: 02.07.2022 16:17
    Story ID: 414206

    Web Views: 277
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