The domestic and foreign terrorist events throughout the 1990s highlighted several inadequacies that had not been addressed by the United States after the end of the Cold War. Changes in domestic borders and ports were finally initiated due to the grievous loss of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, the trend of terrorists, specifically al-Qaeda, appears to be directed to larger and more terrifying operations.
After the release of milled and coated anthrax within mail in October 2001, it became obvious that terrorists' use of Weapons of Mass Effect (WMEs) could have an increased impact upon our country. The RADACAD course was designed to provide customs and border protection officers with an opportunity to understand the role of WMEs, as well as the ability to detect and interdict nuclear and radiation related materials, chemicals, biological materials and missile systems meeting the criteria of a WME.
The RADACAD course conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Volpentest Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response (HAMMER) training center, in Richland, Washington is hands-on training designed for frontline officers, whether domestic U.S. Customs and Border Protection (US CBP), or international border security officers, or U.S. and international law enforcement officials.
RADACAD has wide-ranging governmental support. The program was initiated in 1997 by the Department of Defense (Pentagon-Counter Proliferation) with ensuing support by the Department of State (Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund [NDF] and Export Control), the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Department of Energy, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.