A remote atmospheric breakdown (RAB) is a very rich source of ultraviolet (UV) and broadband visible light that could provide the early warning to the presence of CW/BW agents through spectroscopic detection, identification and quantification at extended standoff distances. A low-intensity negatively chirped laser pulse propagating in air compresses in time due to linear group velocity dispersion and focuses transversely due to non-linear effects resulting in rapid laser intensity increase and ionization near the focal region that can be located kilometers away from the laser system. Proof of principle laboratory experiments are being performed at the Naval Research Laboratory on the generation of RAB and the spectroscopic detection of mock BW agents. We have demonstrated pulse compression and focusing up to 105 meters in the laboratory using femtosecond pulses generated by a high power Ti:Sapphire laser. We observed nonlinear modifications to the temporal frequency chirp of the laser pulse and their effects on the laser compression and the positions of the final focus. We have generated third harmonics at 267 nm and white light in air from the compressed pulse. We have observed fluorescence emission from albumin aerosols as they were illuminated by the compressed femtosecond laser pulse.