Department of Homeland Security Awards Operational Planning and Technology Integration Contract for Manhattan, KS National Bio and Agro Defense Facility

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AT-RISK International, Inc. (AT-RISK), a leader in biosecurity and biosafety threat reduction, will support Merrick & Company (the prime contract recipient) and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate in the development of operational planning, IT infrastructure, biorepository transfer, and acquisition of future contracts for stand-up and operation of the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) now under construction in Manhattan, Kansas.

The Operational Planning and Technology Integration Contract (OPTIC) supports the government’s creation of an operational framework to support an overarching culture of safety throughout all elements of the NBAF program while providing a solid foundation for NBAF to maintain safe, secure, and effective operations well into its operational life.

Under OPTIC, the AT-RISK team will provide subject matter expertise and support to Merrick & Company and the NBAF federal management team as NBAF development transitions from construction activities—ongoing since March 2013—to the establishment of the primary operations contract in fall 2018, and continuing through the stand-up process to full operating capability by the end of 2022. OPTIC also lays the foundation for future operations and steady-state support. AT-RISK’s role is to create a security and biosecurity strategy for the NBAF, as well as to help ensure that risk management and mitigation pertaining to the NBAF program is comprehensive and effective.

NBAF replaces and enhances the research, diagnostic, and training mission at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which is nearing the end of its operational life. NBAF will be a state-of-the-art biocontainment facility for the study of foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that threaten U.S. animal agriculture and public health. With the award of OPTIC, operational plans are well underway to confidently deliver the full capabilities of the NBAF mission. The OPTIC contract has a value of US$32 million over ten years.

Working with science and technology clients globally, AT-RISK’s services include integrated security and biosecurity consulting, protective services, investigations, and training.

About AT-RISK International, Inc.
Founded by experts with law enforcement, military and intelligence backgrounds, AT-RISK International, Inc. provides security training, protection, threat analysis, consulting and investigations to individuals and organizations in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. For more information, please visit

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Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett

Brad grew up in a small town in northern Iowa. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children.
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