Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) supports several U.S. Embassy Tbilisi objectives such as Euro-Atlantic Integration, International Cooperation, and Peace and Security measures. Primary DTRA Programs active in Georgia are the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP), the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Program (WMD PPP), the International Counterproliferation Program (ICP), and Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Consequence Management.
Key DTRA programs in Georgia include the following:
- Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP)-Georgia addresses danger to the U.S. and global health security posed by the risk of outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases by promoting best practices in biological safety and security, improving Georgia’s capacity to rapidly detect and report dangerous infections, and establishing and enhancing international research partnerships. BTRP-Georgia is implemented in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and also in close collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Agency for International Development. The crowning achievement of these collaborations is the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research, a state of the art biosafety level 3 research facility constructed by DTRA and handed over to the Georgian National Center for Disease Control for operation and ownership in 2013.
- WMD-PPP is a vessel modernization and port infrastructure upgrade program carried out in close cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program along the Black Sea Coast. Through PPP, DTRA and EXBS have partnered with the Georgian Coast Guard and Border Police to improve Georgia’s ability to detect and interdict WMD related materials “on the move” along the coast by addressing gaps in maintenance, infrastructure, logistics and sustainment capabilities with these port and equipment upgrades.
- ICP provides training and equipment for law enforcement, emergency response, and border security entities, and program activities compliment the goals of the EXBS program. ICP core objectives are to assist in the establishment of a professional cadre of law enforcement, emergency response, and border security personnel; enhance the ability of aforementioned entities to detect, interdict, identify, investigate, and respond to trafficking of WMD-related materials; and to establish a long-term and mutually beneficial working relationship between the U.S., Georgian and other regional agencies.
- CBRN Consequence Management Program focuses on providing training to emergency response personnel and establishes a national doctrine on CBRN response.
DTRA partners with a variety of Georgian Ministries and agencies to achieve these objectives. Key intergovernmental collaborators working toward public and animal health goals include The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, National Center for Disease Control and Public Health; and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture’s Laboratories and the National Food Agency. Other key collaborators working with DTRA toward proliferation prevention and CBRN Consequence Management goals include the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Coast Guard and Border Police, the State Security Service of Georgia, and the Ministry of Defense.
The DTRA Eurasia office at U.S. Embassy Tbilisi is regional and is responsible for coordinating the activities of DTRA forward offices in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. More information about DTRA’s mission can be found at http://www.dtra.mil/.