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Chemical, Biological Defense Community Names Top Performers for 2022

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Feb. 06, 2023) -- The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense named top performers for 2022 during its second annual awards ceremony at the Pentagon on Feb. 2. 

Leanne A. Chacon, of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense , was named recipient of the Chemical and Biological Defense individual-junior award. 

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"Her actions and effectiveness have been exceptional and contributed significantly to the JPEO-CBRND's efforts," said Col. Bill Epolito, the chief of staff for CBD. "Her extraordinary leadership and accomplishments as the assistant product manager, successfully leading the Cue Health Industrial Base expansion acquisition on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, were instrumental in providing the U.S. pandemic response with a critical test capability." 

Chacon also provided support to Next Generation Diagnostic System 2 chemical diagnostic program, which Epolito said provides a critical capability to warfighters for the diagnosis and protection against chemical nerve agents. 

Named as the individual-senior award winner was Christopher Earnhart from the JPEO-CBRND. 

"His superior leadership and accomplishments as the chief technical officer for the joint project lead for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-defense-enabling biotechnologies, were instrumental in providing modernized threat response models to quickly develop medical countermeasures and decrease time-to-field to the warfighter, and allow the joint forces to fight and win, unencumbered, in any CBRN environment," Epolito said. 

Earnhart also facilitated science and technology, advanced development, manufacturing and acquisition of medical solutions to provide U.S. military forces with safe, effective and innovative ways to enhance the nation's bio/defense response capability, Epolito said.

A group award was given to the seven members of the Joint Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Science & Technology Program Identification Restructure Team. Team members came from both the Joint Science and Technology Office as well as the Joint CBRN Defense Program Analysis and Integration Office. 

Those team members included Morya Wallace, Cheri Withers, Anna Young, Tom Yuzuik, Bill Thomas, Sandy Rausch and Dawn Do. The seven were joined in receiving the award by their leadership, including Army Col. Christopher Grice, from JSTO; and Candace Montville of the Joint CBRN Defense PAIO.

"[The team] exemplified outstanding teamwork, supporting project efforts to streamline and automate science and technology financial data across multiple financial systems," Epolito said. "The synergies established have provided substantial movement forward in sharing the chemical and biological defense S&T financial data in support of the chemical and biological defense program enterprise advocacy management and reporting efforts into the future." 

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