The National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska has welcomed Marty Sikes back to its leadership team as associate executive director for chemical and biological defense programs.
In this role, Sikes will lead NSRI scientists, engineers and former operators and engage University of Nebraska researchers to provide innovative solutions to the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies working within the countering weapons of mass destruction (CWMD) mission space.
“Marty’s experience and subject matter expertise — across and beyond systems integration and evaluation of chemical and biological defense systems and decision support for health security incidents — deepens our institute’s capabilities and support to the DOD,” said Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI executive director. “As U.S. Strategic Command’s University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), NSRI is primarily focused on deterring strategic attack, and strategic attacks can certainly include chemical and biological scenarios.”
Chemical and biological threats continually rise to the top of the greatest challenges facing the Nation’s Joint Forces and homeland. This is evidenced by the recent use of nerve, blister and chlorine agents in Iraq and Syria as well as nerve agents in Malaysia and the United Kingdom. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has also raised international concerns of strategic attack through chemical and biological weapons.
“The Nation faces an increasingly complex threat environment due to the convergence of multiple sciences and the rapid pace of technological advances that challenge our national security and warfighter survivability,” Sikes said. “My aim here at NSRI is to continue to help the DOD and other federal agencies pursuing national security missions solve some of these challenges, bringing forward insight and perspective from my experiences in regard to emerging requirements, priorities, strategies, resources and business processes.”
For the past four years, Sikes was detailed through NSRI via the Intergovernmental Personnel Act to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense as senior CWMD advisor. He developed strategies to support U.S. Combatant Commands and other DOD stakeholders with their material and non-material chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) capability requirements. He also established and managed collaborative partnerships and opportunities, facilitating the execution of cost-effective, innovative and interoperable capabilities and initiatives with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other interagency partners across the CWMD and CBRN mission space.
Sikes has an extensive background in leading CBRN defense and security cooperation programs with the DOD, the U.S. interagency and international partners in more than twenty countries throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, Southeast and Southwest Asia.
He is a retired U.S. Navy medical service corps officer with specializations in public health, biological defense and CBRN medical preparedness and operations, serving in a variety of positions leading force health protection, environmental health and all hazard preparedness and response programs. Prior to commissioning, Mr. Sikes served as a hospital corpsman with the Fleet Marine Force.
“I have devoted my professional life to supporting the security of our great Nation, including our warfighters and first responders,” Sikes said. “NSRI has the expertise, innovative mindset and real-world experience that together makes this UARC unique in its capability and approach to solving complex problems. NSRI serves as a trusted agent of the government and is strategically positioned to support the DOD — what better place to work?”
Learn more about NSRI’s work in chemical and biological threat detection and countermeasure development at
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 14 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats.
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