Mike Quinn, USAWCF ’16
COL Mike Quinn is the Deputy Director for the Chemical and Biological Technologies Department of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). He manages the daily operations of six technical divisions with over 160 scientists and engineers within DTRA’s Research and Development (RD) Directorate. His department, led by Dr. Ronald K. Hann, has collaborated across the DoD and Interagency in support of COVID-19 operations. In the initial phases of the outbreak, the department assisted the Department of Health and Human Services to leverage interagency agreements to move critical testing supplies from overseas manufacturers. Mission control was turned over to USNORTHCOM on March 23rd as the scope exceeded DTRA’s capabilities to synchronize. In response to a USTRANSCOM Joint Urgent Operational Need, the department worked with the Air Staff, Air Mobility Command, DTRA’s Technical Reachback Division, and other stakeholders to determine the best options to protect aircrews while safely moving COVID-19 infected service members. Following the outbreak, more than a dozen technologies which originated in the department, spanning group/individual protection, medical diagnostics, modeling, and medical countermeasures, have been leveraged to support the COVID-19 response. Two examples of these technologies are the Transport Isolation System (TIS) and the Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise (EDGE) tool. The TIS, developed by the DTRA Chem/Bio Department in 2015 to transport Ebola patients, was placed into operation by the Air Force. On April 10th, the Air Force transported three patients from the USCENTCOM AOR to Landstuhl Regional Medical Hospital in Germany in the TIS. The Chem/Bio Department’s EDGE tool, transitioned to the Division of Viral Diseases at Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has been used to identify SARS-like sequences in clinical samples and cell line cultures. In January 2020, EDGE was used to analyze the first SARS-CoV-2 samples originated from Washington State.
COL Michael S. ‘Mike’ Quinn
Army War College Fellow 2016
Deputy Director, Chemical and Biological Technologies Department
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)