The infrared sensors group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is focused on the science and technology of remote and in-situ chemical sensors for detecting proliferation and countering terrorism. To support these vital missions, PNNL is developing frequency-modulation techniques for remote probing over long optical paths by means of differential-absorption light detecting and ranging (LIDAR). This technique can easily monitor large areas, or volumes, that could only be accomplished with a large network of point sensors. Recently, PNNL began development of a rugged frequency-modulation differential-abosrption LIDAR (FM-DIAL) system to conduct field experiments. To provide environmentla protection for the system and facilitate field deployments and operations, a large, well insulated, temperature controlled trailer was specified and acquired. The trailer was outfitted with a shock-mounted optical bench, an electronics rack, a liquid nitrogen Dewar, and a power generator. A computer-controlled gimbal-mounted mirror was added to allow the telescope beam to be accurately pointed in both the vertical and horizontal plane. This turned out to be the most complicated addition, and is described in detail. This paper provides an overview of the FM-DIAL system and illustrates innovative solutions developed to overcome several alignment and stability issues encountered in the field.