Photos: How the Army tests biological and chemical weapons
In a display case in one building at the Dugway Proving Grounds, a U.S. Army facility in the Utah desert that researches ways to protect soldiers against chemical and biological weapons, a rubber duck wearing a gas mask provides a little light-hearted humor in an otherwise serious environment.
At Dugway's Chemical Test Division, mannequins like this are fitted with masks, as well as respirators, so that researchers can create and test environments similar to what soldiers experience in the theater, and determine how various chemical "agents" will perform.
This swatch cup device is used to measure the effects of various chemical agents on swatches of cloth that soldiers wear in an attempt to determine how the clothing will hold up in the face of different kinds of chemicals.
Signs like this one, which warn of the potential for "cancer-suspect" agents, can be found throughout the Chemical Test Division at Dugway, though personnel there say that such agents are almost never in evidence, in large part because they concentrate very heavily on safety at the facility.
A sign explaining "Biological Safety Level 3," or BL3, the most dangerous level that researchers at Dugway Proving Grounds generally work at. BL3 agents are potentially lethal and anyone working with them must take extremely serious safety precautions.
In addition, only those who have undergone significant training can work in BL3 areas.
Mustang Village, a small fabricated "town" that was built on one edge of the Dugway Proving Grounds. The village is used to simulate responses to chemical or biological attacks on various kinds of normal buildings, such as a hotel, a post office or a store.