Explosive weapons are the weapons of choice for insurgent conflicts and terrorist attacks worldwide. To address injuries that result from explosions or blasts, the United States (US) Department of Defense (DoD) Blast Injury Research Program, led by a DoD Executive Agent (EA), brings together the medical, materiel development, test and evaluation, and operational communities to develop strategies for the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of blast injuries. The Blast Injury Research Coordinating Office (BIRCO) was established to assist the EA by coordinating DoD blast injury research to ensure that critical knowledge gaps are filled, to avoid costly and unnecessary duplication of effort, and to accelerate the fielding of prevention and treatment strategies through collaboration and information sharing. Since being established in 2007, the BIRCO supported the multidisciplinary research efforts that are saving lives, reducing injury, and speeding the recovery and reintegration of injured Service Members, Veterans, and civilian victims of conflict and terrorism.
The BIRCO plays a critical role in advancing blast injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies by promoting collaboration between medical and nonmedical research communities within and outside the DoD, both nationally and internationally. The BIRCO was established as permanent office at United States Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) in 2007 to support Executive Agent responsibilities as outlined in DoD Directive (DoDD) 6025.21E:
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