Interview: BG (Ret.) William King, Chairman of the upcoming NCT USA 2020 Conference


Why should NCT USA 2020 be the “Not to Miss” USA edition of the NCT events?

Given the threats that America faces today from Wuhan Coronavirus, to Pharmaceutical Based Agents like Carfentanyl and renewed concerns over State and Non-State Sponsored WMD agents like Novichoks and Sulfur Mustard and other novel Chemical and Biological materials that can be used as weapons of mass destruction, it is crucial that Local, State, and Federal Government Agencies, Industry Partners, and Academia come together to discuss and better team on our preparedness and responses. We can no longer afford to just talk about and admire the future threats as they are no longer future. It is upon us to act now.  

How will the location of this year’s NCT USA event make this event more meaningful or valuable – not just “different”- than in the past years?

Where better to harness the energy and momentum of an action-oriented forum like NCT USA than Edgewood, the location of the CBRN Community’s Science and Technology, Research and Development, Acquisition, and the Mission Command organizations. Teaming with professional organizations like CCDC-CBC just makes sense. 

Who are some of the major NCT thought-leaders that participants will be able to meet and interact with at the NCT USA 2020 edition?

True leaders like the new Assistant Director of the FBI WMD Directorate Mr. Donald Alway, Joint Program Executive Officer CBRND Mr. Doug Bryce, Director Joint Science and Technology Office, DTRA Dr. Ron Hann, Director CCDC CBC Dr. Eric Moore, Associate Director, Office for Bombing Prevention, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Mr. Sean Haglundare just a few to name. Each superb thought and Federal Government leaders in their own right. They and a whole host of others from across the Federal, State, and local governments, Academia, and Industry Partners will be there.

What are some of the highlights anticipated for NCT USA 2020?  

I believe that the center piece of this conference will be discussions with specific examples on how the US is proactively executing our Biological Warfare National Defense Strategy as it pertains to the ongoing Wuhan Coronavirus.There has never been a time where this community is more relevant and pertinent to our collective National Defense.

Come hear how we have employed lessons learned from previous lesser threats against this growing Global Pandemic both here at home and abroad.

What are the main points of advice you can give the younger civil or military sector CBRN professional, working their way through hurdles in their own CBRNE career?  

What better forum where experts from across the broad spectrum of capabilitiesare gathered wanting to talk to you, listen to their decades of experiences, and better understand how you can proactively participate and add value to the team.

The wholistic CWMD enterprise’s agility and expertise will enable us to address and withstand the effects of the existing and emerging WMD threats of 2020 and beyond

The threat posed by the use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is rising. China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organizations have, and are pursuing, WMD capabilities that threaten the United States and/or U.S. interests. The WMD threat landscape is continuously changing and we must maintain the flexibility and adaptability to sustain at least peer capability and capacity to prevent, prepare, and respond to those threats. Rapid biotechnology advances are increasing the potential, variety, and ease of access to biological weapons. The U.S. National Defense Strategy’s three lines of effort to counter weapons of mass destruction are: 

  1. Ensure lethality by making sure U.S. responses and communities can operate in an environment contaminated by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons and maintain resiliency against the effects of these weapons, which ultimately denies adversaries the benefits of using weapons of mass destruction. 
  2. Next line of effort 2) reform and ensure the best return on investment. DOD’s policy office is leading an Interagency effort with the other 19 U.S. Federal Departments and Agencies through the CWMD Unity of Effort Council to prioritize threats and provide coordinated related policy guidance for the departments to organize operations, activities and investments around a cohesive threat picture. 
  3. Finally, the third line of effort 3) strengthening alliances and building partnerships. Through its work to reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction, U.S. Federal, State, and local responders are empowered to work with its partners to detect, prevent and reduce threats on their own. 

Emphasis is needed on rebuilding an effective and diverse workforce that can handle future threats. We are at an interesting time for countering weapons of mass destruction. As the convergence of another number of scientific disciplines, including artificial intelligence and machine learning aided decision making, advanced in synthetic biology and molecular engineering, and ultimately system-level autonomy are opening the door for the development of new opportunities and clear challenges. The United States must adopt global partnerships and a global perspective to fully identify and ultimately build the Team of Teams networks required to defeat the global threat networks associated with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Whether it is Russia or China upgrading their nuclear forces with new and advanced nuclear weapons, or the use of chemical weapons in 2018 in England, threats from weapons of mass destruction continue to evolve, modernize, and expand and to survive we must be more flexible and adaptable than that evolution and modernization.

About the Interviewee

BG(R) William King has served in a wide variety of command, leadership, and staff positions across numerous levels of the U.S. Army, Joint Task Forces, Regional Commands, and most recently as the Commanding General 20th CBRNE Command before retiring on 19 July 2017 with 30+ years of active duty US Army service. He joined Booz Allen Hamilton in 2017 as an Executive Advisor for the Joint Combatant Commands (JCC) Account and on 12 Oct 2018 was designated as an Industry CWMD Senior Fellow. He is developing the market for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, assessing synchronization and integration, advising senior government clients, and serves as the Booz Allen market lead on challenges/opportunities, and providing strategic thinking for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) policies, modernization, capability and capacity development. BG(R) King’s expertise, honed through a series of multi-echelon capability and leadership positions, has prepared him to tackle the nation’s most complex CWMD challenges. He is a known luminary and clear leader in the field. He is widely recognized for his breadth of knowledge, experience, and depth of understanding of CWMD challenges. He is skilled at addressing complex problems, is intellectually agile, and is a recognized leader who inspires others and builds teams with ease.

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