Homeland Security

July 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Secure communications offers flexibility, information sharing.

Civilian disaster response personnel soon will employ secure electronic messaging to communicate with U.S. government agencies and military services. The mobile system enables emergency management personnel to contact and coordinate operations quickly with other federal entities in the event of an emergency or terrorist attack.

September 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

October 2002
By Maj. Karlton D. Johnson, USAF

Cooperation essential to new cyberprotection model.

Businesses and the U.S. military have between them a multitude of information assurance programs to protect against cyberattacks; however, a recent research project reveals significant gaps in national policies, procedures and relationships that must be addressed to ensure success. As the United States becomes more dependent on technology and near-real-time data, information operations are evolving into a critical national security matter that requires a joint approach.

November 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Government and military departments train together for seamless information sharing.

U.S. civilian emergency management and law enforcement agencies are becoming increasingly capable of interoperating with the U.S. Defense Department. By enhancing communications and computer networking systems, organizations are readying themselves for flexible multiagency and multiservice joint operations in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

December 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Orbital eye spies serve multiple roles.

The U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency is purchasing commercial remote sensing imagery, some under exclusive use agreements, to support operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Applications can range from mission planning and rehearsal to battle damage assessment and humanitarian airdrops.

February 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

No clear pattern yet has emerged to current and future expenditures.

More than 16 months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. government spending on homeland security has yet to settle into a predictable routine. Tens of billions of dollars have been allocated to domestic and foreign operations aimed at deterring, preventing or recovering from terrorist activities. Some of these appropriations have funded startup programs that promise long-term benefits, while others support long-extant efforts that are the only options available for immediate action in the war on terrorism.

February 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

Firms join forces to provide integrated solutions.

Corporate America is helping assemble the homeland defense jigsaw puzzle that includes thousands of pieces being put together by hundreds of people looking at a multitude of different pictures. Industry leaders agree that the biggest challenge is the complexity of the problem and the plethora of solutions being proposed by companies with a range of specialties taking widely varying approaches.

February 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

Business dealings will change with the U.S. government’s biggest structural revamp in 50 years.

The major consolidation of federal agencies that is creating the new Department of Homeland Security also is impelling private industry to adapt to the changing landscape. The resulting environment places more responsibility on businesses to protect vital infrastructure, but it also clears the way to a closer and more productive relationship between the commercial and public sectors.

April 2003
By James Stiefvater

Increased threat brings information exchange capability to forefront.

Rapidly deployable, reliable and secure communications are helping sort through the inherent communications chaos surrounding emergency situations. The technology was instrumental in providing communications capabilities after the terrorist attacks and also was useful in debris recovery operations after the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

August 2004
By James Careless

Law enforcement and emergency personnel use the Incident Commanders Radio Interface to link disparate radio systems.
Manportable system allows emergency personnel with disparate communications systems to connect.

May 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon and Maryann Lawlor

In the 18 months following the terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has undergone a series of structural changes. At the state and federal levels, efforts are underway to enhance communications and information-sharing infrastructures among agencies and other organizations. Public institutions also have reached out to the private sector to form partnerships designed to protect vital national infrastructures.

July 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

Portable satellite communications products are being used by a number of U.S. government customers such as the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The agency used Tachyon Network’s equipment to stream live video to its Washington, D.C., headquarters. 
System offers fiber-optic speed, reliability to space-based data transmissions.

June 2003
By Robert Steele and Larry Panell

Chemical and biological attack preparedness calls for information sharing.

Technology may be the key to ensuring that the public can respond quickly if a chemical or biological weapons attack occurs. Until recently, the U.S. population, protected by two oceans, had not given much thought to terrorism or to the intentional release of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials. Occasionally, industrial or hazardous material accidents occur. However, these types of situations are usually dealt with through local emergency response teams to minimize the impact on the lives and health of the surrounding population.

January 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

Deterring, preventing and defeating threats shares mission space with disaster relief and consequence management.

The newest U.S. combatant command, tasked with defending the homeland, is taking a military approach to using civilian assets. This does not involve discarding existing U.S. laws that mandate separation of military activity from local responsibilities. Rather, it involves organizing and coordinating threat protection and emergency response efforts to maximize available federal, state and local government resources. And, it may include placing the military command under civilian leadership.

June 2004
By Cheryl Lilie

Disaster Management Interoperability Services (DMIS) software can provide the emergency management community with up-to-date weather reports and imported flood-plain maps to reduce the loss of life and property in natural disasters. 
Web and software tools provide crisis preparedness and recovery aid to first responders and citizens.

December 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

But funding uncertainties could sink long-overdue modernization.

The U.S. Coast Guard has embarked on an ambitious modernization plan that calls for new ships and aircraft built around a network-centric architecture. The program addresses both the need for a broad-based update of Coast Guard hardware and systems as well as the enhanced homeland security role assigned to the maritime service.

February 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

A U.S. Defense Department program combines technologies into a network to identify, predict and prevent terrorist attacks.

A variety of technologies under development by U.S. government researchers soon may help security organizations to track, anticipate and preclude terrorist activity. Part of an overarching program, these applications will permit analysts and decision makers quickly to assess and act upon patterns and trends in terrorist activity. 

April 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

Knowing what the enemy is up to is just as vital as keeping diverse organizational components in the loop.

The new Department of Homeland Security is assembling an information infrastructure that must encompass internal and external organizations, must process and disseminate key data among the appropriate customers, and must incorporate innovative new technologies and approaches to stay ahead of the enemy—all without missing a critical piece of intelligence or running afoul of the law. In effect, the department is constructing a complex information architecture that must serve its crucial immediate needs well before it is completed.

October 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

Agency will examine revolutionary solutions while meeting today’s operational needs.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is opening the door to the private sector in its quest for innovative technologies to support ongoing operations and meet future requirements. Modeled after the U.S. Defense Department’s primary research and development arm, the new department’s parallel agency will be seeking solutions to challenges in the areas of biological and chemical agent detection, nuclear, radiological and high explosive attack deterrence, and information security.

November 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

Military refines its role in national security efforts.

The U.S. Defense Department is bringing its expertise on the battlefield to the home front. Under the direction of an organization that was chartered less than eight months ago, the department is taking aim at those who would do the nation harm, assisting law enforcement and federal agencies with technical capabilities and proficiency in tactics, techniques and procedures. Although this is not a new mission for the military, it is an indication of the department’s resolve to win the war against terrorism.