ASAP goes mobile on post
ASAP’s mobile laboratory sits outside the ASAP office at Building 7424 on Apennines Drive on Custer Hill. The mobile lab gives units the ability to conduct urine analysis testing in remote locations. Photo by: Jessica Healey, POST.
Story by: Jessica Healey
1ST INF. DIV. POST
Fort Riley Army Substance Abuse Program rolled out a mobile laboratory to help urine analysis and alcohol testing become more accessible to units on post.
The mobile lab is a trailer that can be taken anywhere and has all components needed to gather urine samples to conduct urine analysis and alcohol testing.
"The mobile lab will allow commands the ability to test at times that would be difficult for the units to predict," said Ted Freeman, manager, ASAP.
The purpose of the mobile lab is to embrace the concept of smart testing.
"The definition of smart testing is the unpredictability of drug testing to the population being tested. So, the goal behind it is for the unit commanders to have an irregular testing pattern," said Eric Fleuter, lab manager, ASAP.
"The mobile lab provides the opportunity to do both urine analysis and alcohol testing simultaneously. The lab provides the ability to receive and store urine analysis samples, while maintaining litigation worthiness and a secure chain of custody," Freeman said.
Using the mobile lab, testing could take place in more remote locations, like ranges or during field rotations.
The first unit to utilize the mobile lab was Company G, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. They used the lab Sept. 23 at their battalion.
The company, overall, seemed to feel the mobile lab helped speed up the process, while offering some great training.
"It seemed to go well," Fleuter said. "It's faster and more convenient, even here at the unit, where the collection process is the same, since we transport the collection samples for the unit, instead of them having to bring them into us."
Another benefit to conducting drug testing with the mobile lab is the opportunity for training.
"Rather than just have Soldiers stand around waiting, you might as well be training them, and it makes the testing go faster," Freeman said.
Training like Intoxiclock, the training Co. G offered, will be available.
"(Intoxiclock) allows Soldiers to see that even though they have drank the evening before and slept, they may still be coming to formation impaired for duty and not know it based on alcohol consumption levels and developed tolerances," Freeman added.
Any training could be utilized as well; it would not be required to be ASAP-related.
Training Soldiers while they are waiting is just maximum utilization, Fleuter added.
"The whole purpose behind drug testing Soldiers is not to catch Soldiers, it's for that deterrent effect," Flueter said.
For more information about ASAP'S mobile lab, visit www.riley.army.mil/UnitPage.aspx?unit=DHR.ASAP.