// NEWS RELEASE

DEVCOM CBC Cuts Ribbon on Expanded Biomanufacturing Facility

DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | June 12th, 2024

// NEWS RELEASE

DEVCOM CBC Cuts Ribbon on Expanded Biomanufacturing Facility

DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | June 12th, 2024

// NEWS RELEASE

DEVCOM CBC Cuts Ribbon on Expanded Biomanufacturing Facility

DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | June 12th, 2024

DEVCOM CBC Cuts Ribbon on Expanded Biomanufacturing Facility

DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs
June 12th, 2024

Officials gathered on June 12, 2024 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. to cut the ribbon and open the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) Biomanufacturing Facility. (From left to right, Dr. James Watson, Director of Engineering, DEVCOM CBC; Dr. Patricia McDaniel, Army Senior Research Scientist for Chemistry, DEVCOM CBC; Dr. Rick Cox, Director of Research and Operations, DEVCOM CBC; BG John Cushing, Commanding General, DEVCOM; Mr. Robert Cassilly, County Executive, Harford County, Maryland; Mr. Michael Bailey, Director, DEVCOM CBC; Mr. Michael Holthe, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; Dr. Kelly Basi, Biomanufacturing Branch Chief, DEVCOM CBC; Dr. Peter Emanuel, Deputy Principal Director for the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Development.) (U.S. Army Photo by Parker Martin.)

Officials gathered on June 12, 2024 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. to cut the ribbon and open the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) Biomanufacturing Facility. (From left to right, Dr. James Watson, Director of Engineering, DEVCOM CBC; Dr. Patricia McDaniel, Army Senior Research Scientist for Chemistry, DEVCOM CBC; Dr. Rick Cox, Director of Research and Operations, DEVCOM CBC; BG John Cushing, Commanding General, DEVCOM; Mr. Robert Cassilly, County Executive, Harford County, Maryland; Mr. Michael Bailey, Director, DEVCOM CBC; Mr. Michael Holthe, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; Dr. Kelly Basi, Biomanufacturing Branch Chief, DEVCOM CBC; Dr. Peter Emanuel, Deputy Principal Director for the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Development.) (U.S. Army Photo by Parker Martin.)

Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD — Pentagon senior leaders and Harford County Executive Robert Cassilly joined U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) leaders in cutting the ribbon on the Center’s newly renovated and expanded Biomanufacturing Pilot Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground in a ceremony on June 12.

The 25,000-square-foot Biomanufacturing Pilot Facility fills a vital niche in the effort to free the nation from foreign suppliers and pioneer the creation of entirely new materials essential for national defense. Academic and other Department of Defense (DoD) research laboratories are synthesizing microbes that can produce chemicals and materials with extraordinary properties, but only at a gram-sized scale, said Michael Bailey, DEVCOM CBC director.

This facility increases production capability for these materials from the gram-size level to up to 1,000 kilograms so that industry can further scale production to the commercial level for real-world applications. DEVCOM scientists also optimize the microbes they receive to make them more suitable for scale-up.

Bailey hosted Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology Michael Holthe of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and Harford County Executive Robert Cassilly. Each spoke about the newly renovated and expanded facility’s value to the DoD Chemical Biological Defense Program, national defense and the Harford County regional economy.

“It is together that we build an ecosystem, of which this facility is a part, that fills an important gap,” Bailey said. He predicted that the government investment in biotechnology at Aberdeen Proving Ground and the multiple partnerships required for success will positively impact Harford County and further resonate across Maryland. “Eventually, when this hub and the entire biomanufacturing ecosystem is up and running, the economic impact will be felt across the nation. These investments are being made today and will pay off tomorrow.”

Distinguished guests tour the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center Biomanufacturing Facility during the official ribbon cutting event on June 12, 2024. (U.S. Army photo by Ellie White.)
Distinguished guests tour the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center Biomanufacturing Facility during the official ribbon cutting event on June 12, 2024. (U.S. Army photo by Ellie White.)

Having begun production in 2020, DEVCOM CBC received a $50 million investment from the Army and the Tri-service Biotechnology for Resilient Supply Chains Program of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering to modernize and expand its capabilities. Improvements included the addition of liquids separation technologies in its new process development laboratory for downstream processing of biomanufactured chemicals and upgrades to the fermentation laboratory.

“Now we can make critical high-value chemicals that can be used in both military systems and make entirely new materials that will have both military and civilian industrial benefits, all while increasing the nation’s supply chain resiliency,” said Dr. Kelly Basi, DEVCOM CBC Biomanufacturing Branch chief.

“The expansion of this facility cements DEVCOM CBC’s role as a national leader in biomanufactured materials development. I am excited to see the Center work with its academic and industry partners to create new materials while creating jobs across the country,” said Dr. Peter Emanuel, Deputy Principal Director for the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Development.

“We are excited to deepen our partnerships with academic institutions and host interns, training the next generation of scientists in the process, including Harford County Community College, Cecil County Community College, University of Delaware, and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County,” Bailey said.


The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) leads in the discovery, development and delivery of technology-based capabilities to enable Soldiers to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering and field operations. The DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center is headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.