The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (or DTRA) is an agency within the United States Department of Defense (DoD) created "to safeguard America and its interests from threats of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high explosives) by reducing the threat and providing quality tools and services." DTRA's main functions were threat reduction, threat control, combat support, and technology development. The agency was headquartered in Fort Belvoir, Virginia until the Zombie Outbreak of 2010. DTRA formerly employed 2,000 civilian and military personnel at more than 14 locations around the world, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Ukraine.
DTRA was founded in 1998 by consolidating several DoD organizations, including the Defense Special Weapons Agency (successor to the Defense Nuclear Agency) and the On-Site Inspection Agency. DTRA's vision was "to make the world safer by reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction."
After the end of the Cold War, DTRA and its predecessor agencies had implemented the DoD aspects of several treaties that assist former Eastern Bloc countries in the destruction of Soviet era nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons sites (such as missile silos and plutonium production facilities) in an attempt to avert potential weapons proliferation in the post-Soviet era as part of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program.
DTRA was also responsible for reducing the threat of conventional war, especially in Europe, by participating in various arms control treaties to which the United States is a party, such as the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty and the Treaty on Open Skies.
It should be noted DTRA was also particularly responsible for defensive control of biohazard threats to American homeland security. According to a popular motto adopted by the DTRA, “We must support the ongoing revolution in the life sciences by seeking to ensure that resulting discoveries and their applications, used solely for peaceful and beneficial purposes, are globally available. At the same time, we must be mindful of the risks throughout history posed by those who sought to misuse the products of new technologies for harmful purposes. Specifically, we must reduce the risk that misuse of the life sciences could result in the deliberate or inadvertent release of biological material in a manner that sickens or kills people, animals, or plants, or renders unusable critical resources.”
After the massive Zombie outbreak of 2010, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency was forced to plan the first action taken against the widely spreading contamination of individuals with the 'Zombie Strain'. The agency had to remain true to its purpose of 'Safeguarding the Homeland from Chemical and Biological Threats'. The outbreak in fact occurred when a military development corporation known as 'Shallingly' accidentally released the unstable strain in a gas form over Maryland, in the United States. The gas quickly traveled to Washington, D.C., causing large numbers of fatalities. Due to the unstable and mysterious qualities of the developed strain, the corpses of those killed by the gas quickly rose again as 'walking corpses'.
Civilians nicknamed these states of living matter 'Zombies' due to their resemblance to the pop culture horror icons of the same name and similar nature. The DTRA was paralyzed by the initial outbreak as their headquarters in Virginia were quickly overwhelmed by a Zombified population. The gas spread like a wildfire, creating a toxic cloud over the rest of the United States by September 14. It moved like radiation, being carried to Mexico and Canada and causing Zombies to appear in greater and greater numbers there. This caused the Zombie Outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis; the spreading "Zombie Plague" swamped normal law enforcement organizations and chaos reigned. The response of American authorities to the threat was slower than its rate of growth, which gave the strain critical time to expand beyond possible containment.
By the time DTRA was able to mobilize, the entire eastern United States were already engulfed by chaos. Entire agencies and departments for crisis and emergency management had been wiped out and their supervision crippled after the loss of Washington, D.C. The remainder of these still-functioning agencies were quickly placed under DTRA supervision as the American government declared a state of national emergency. Due to the growing numbers of the Zombie populance, DTRA was the first to suspect that the strain may have mutated and produced the ability to spread the Zombie organisms from one person to another through direct contact. Working jointly with the remains of the U.S. Department of Defense, DTRA was able to formulate a plan to control the emergency as it spread across the North American continent. However, response was only further delayed by the surprise of the outbreak, and DTRA was unable to sufficiently take action against the spread of the Zombie Strain until September 20. By this point, much of the nation had been overrun.
Currently, DTRA has moved its base of operations to California, where it directs the fight against the Zombified hordes. It works jointly with what is left of the United States Armed Forces in increasingly losing efforts to contain the Zombie Outbreak.
In dealing with the Zombie Outbreak, DTRA has captured a number of 'Zombies' to analyze their bodily fluids and study the Zombie Strain. They have also initiated a swift investigation into the Shallingly Corporation and the fateful accident which led to the initial outbreak. DTRA operatives frequently conduct field missions into contaminated zones to research the Zombie Strain. The agency has demanded that Shallingly turn over all notes and files on the development of the strain over to the U.S. government for further examination.
DTRA has cordoned off a large swathe of the eastern United States as a 'Contaminated' Area. Although the agency's workers originally tried to quarantine sections of cities and forcibly remove the population for testing, this failed as the toxic gas spread over the nation, affecting more and more Americans. DTRA required all civilians to report suspected cases of the strain, immediately removing these individuals for analysis. As the epidemic grew critical, however, DTRA rounded up as many of these people as they could, and ordered military personnel to execute them. Their corpses were then burnt to prevent the Strain from spreading any further. DTRA then pulled out of the quarantined areas, offering mass evacuations. Some communities chose to take up arms against the Zombies alone, and violently resisted DTRA assistance. DTRA has taken emergency brutal tactics against the Zombies since October 28, 2010, resorting only to lethal force against the creatures except for the select few captured for testing.
The Contaminated Zone closed off by the agency's order includes parts of the Midwestern United States. Everything within the zone, even communities still holding out, are abandoned. This is to maximize containment attempts and prevent affected individuals from entering the rest of the country. However, these efforts have so far proved more and more fruitless, as the spreading cloud of the strain in its gas form has continued to claim more and more of the country.
Efforts to Control Spreading Gas
DTRA has set up a number of temporary testing facilities on the west coast of the United States. One of their main goals is to distribute gas masks to as many civilians as possible to resist the Zombie Strain in its gaseous form. Civilians issued these masks are given strict instructions never to remove them. They are to eat and drink fluids through the mask. With the exception of DTRA facilities where the ventilation is filtered and consistently monitored for any trace of the toxins, the agency regards any oxygen in the air as infectious and dangerous.