The Army is investigating the possibility that a research lab in Maryland mishandled and shipped samples of the plague and encephalitis following concerns raised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no indication any lab workers or others face a health risk, and the Army has implemented a hold on research at the lab, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said Sept. 9. The Pentagon is investigating whether? the samples were mislabeled. “What’s really important here, based on the Army’s assessment, based on the CDC’s assessment, is there is no public health threat,” Cook said. The disclosure comes as the Army is investigating how multiple labs misheld and shipped live anthrax samples to 51 facilities across the country and abroad. The Defense Department has maintained the anthrax shipments do not pose any threat to the public.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.