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The Army will add two biological detection units to the 1st Infantry Division this spring as part of a Defense Department initiative to help combat units detect biological threats.

The two platoon-size units will have about 64 soldiers and 14 detection vehicles and will be based at Kitzingen, Germany, according to a U.S. Army Europe news release.

“These units are tactical biological detection units that support deployed Army units,” said Hilde Patton, V Corps spokeswoman. “They could be deployed anywhere Army units are deployed to provide biological agent detection.”

When the units are not deployed, they will train for their wartime mission, Patton said. However, the units will not join 1st ID troops on their current deployment to Iraq, the release stated.

The units — currently part of the 307th Chemical Company, a combined active-duty and Reserve unit from Lodi, N.J. — use the Biological Integrated Detection System. The system uses computer-controlled air sampling to detect biological agents, the release stated. If an agent is detected, radio or computer networks will disseminate warnings to the soldiers.

Each of the 14 detection systems is carried in a shelter attached to a Humvee.

Soldiers assigned to the unit will train at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., before moving to Germany.


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