(DHS photo)

Nielsen: Congressional Approval of WMD Office ‘Will Keep Us a Step Ahead of Our Enemies’

Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen applauded congressional approval of the new DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office. On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2018, permanently establishing the office, which Nielsen founded in December 2017.

“The United States faces rising danger from terrorist groups and rogue nation-states which could use weapons of mass destruction to harm Americans,” Nielsen said in a statement. “There is no question that such an attack could have a devastating effect on our country. This legislation will keep us a step ahead of our enemies, and I am grateful Congress has voted to send it to President Trump’s desk. I look forward to working with Congress and the administration to deploy these new authorities.”

The WMD office is led by Assistant Secretary James F. McDonnell, who was appointed by President Trump in May. McDonnell is the former founding director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Assurance.

Nielsen said that 2018 has been a “milestone year” for departmental cooperation with Congress, and cited last month’s establishment of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

DHS Seeks Solicitations for Small Businesses 

DHS also announced on Wednesday that it is seeking proposals from small businesses on 10 topics within the  DHS Science and Technology Directorate  and two from the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office.

The S&T topics are:

  • H-SB019.1-001 – Reach-Back Capability for Fielded Rapid DNA Systems
  • H-SB019.1-002 – ICAM On-the-Fly
  • H-SB019.1-003 – On Body Power Module for First Responders
  • H-SB019.1-004 – Modeling-based Design of Sensors for Chemical Detection in Complex Environment
  • H-SB019.1-005 – Synthetic Training Data for Explosive Detection Machine Learning Algorithms
  • H-SB019.1-006 – Cybersecurity Peer-to-Peer Knowledge/Lessons Learned Tool
  • H-SB019.1-007 – Blockchain Applications for Homeland Security Forensic Analytics
  • H-SB019.1-008 – Network Modeling for Risk Assessment

The CWMD topics are:

  • H-SB019.1-009 – Detector Integration with Current and Emerging Networked Systems
  • H-SB019.1-010 – Unmanned Aerial System Autonomous Search of Limited Area for Radiological Threats

DHS states it is mandatory that vendors be registered on the SBIR Portal, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Company Registry Database and the System for Award Management.

ARCHIVE: DHS Cyber Agency Created with Trump Signature; Nielsen Attends
SEE: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Applauds Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act Passage

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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