SSC-Natick Press Release
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Natick, MA 01760-5012
Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
Date: March 30, 2004
Tech transfer planning begins for homeland departments
NATICK, Mass. --- Designated Homeland Defense representatives from Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) centers and labs met for the first time with Col. David Bongi, RDECOM acting deputy commanding general for Operations, at Fort Monmouth, N.J., Jan. 14-15, to discuss how RDECOM can better support Homeland Defense and Homeland Security.
Although the command supports Homeland Security and Homeland Defense, Bongi emphasized the need for a systems integration approach to meet operational capabilities.
"The first responder technology must be a cohesive total architecture that is not just an addition of individual technologies but is a tailorable and scalable architecture that is modular, can be configured for differing levels of operation, and is open enough to allow a wide variety of new products to be easily added without discarding what was previously done," he said.
Homeland security is a national strategy to protect the United States from terrorist attacks, reduce vulnerability from terrorist attacks, and if they occur, mitigate and recover from terrorist attacks. Homeland defense is the traditional military defense of the United States people, U.S. territory and critical infrastructure against external threats and aggression. The two have worked together since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
RDECOM is one of the major subordinate commands of the Army Materiel Command (AMC). In concert with the individual-functionally focused R&D centers, it brings new and emerging technology in the areas of armaments; communications and electronics; aviation and missile; tank and automotive; chemical and biological personnel protection; simulation and training; and basic research and system analysis to warfighters.
RDECOM brings new and emerging technologies as dual-use opportunities and investments derived from supporting the Army warfighter. It also provides long-term expertise in the innovative application of these technologies and the experience in the integration and system engineering essential to effectively combine individual pieces to solve the priority needs of the nation's first responders.
At the meeting, the group reviewed all RDECOM Homeland Defense and Homeland Security-related activities and began working on developing specific organization goals and objectives, a framework for dealing with organizations outside of the command, and a campaign plan for how the command will manage the potential for technology transfer and other support to the Department of Homeland Security or other Homeland Security agents.
Initial efforts will focus on federal Homeland Security agents, with subsequent expansion to local and state initiatives. The deputy commanding general for Operations will be the command's focal point for all proposed Homeland Defense and Homeland Security-related efforts.
Planned objectives and efforts include:
-Developing a RDECOM Homeland Defense/Homeland Security campaign plan designed to better focus the command's efforts in this area.
-Using Web-based technologies to assist in integrating and coordinating within and across RDECOM and to collect, analyze and catalog the RDECOM Homeland Defense/Homeland Security technologies that can be leveraged for first responders.
-Identifying the proponents for the emergency responder community that can define and articulate federal, state and local requirements and standards given the diversity of the emergency response operator and mission.
"In the aftermath of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, technology must play a critical role in fostering increased civil agency Homeland Security capabilities as well as the Defense Department's Homeland Defense operations," said Bongi.
The technologies being implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, civil agencies and Department of Defense will support improved capabilities in air and seaport safety, remote surveillance technology, and defenses against bioterrorism and hijacking.
These technologies can contribute to enhancements in the most important prevention and protection phases by making intelligence available and more usable to decision-makers, and providing easy-to-operate remote training and distance learning in the response phase during an event. They will reduce loss of life, property damage, amount of recovery and restore the site as rapidly as possible to reduce the economic impact to the region.
Significant technological advantages with the creation and real-time distribution of a common and relevant operation picture with full situational awareness are now being demonstrated in the global war on terrorism waged in the Middle East. Technology-enabled advantages could also aid in the counterterrorism and Homeland Security operations being conducted in the United States.
These technologies include areas such as the networking of suites of sophisticated search and environmental surveillance sensors, biometric-based site access control means and automated perimeter monitoring security systems, tailored personnel protection ensembles for the responders and lightweight armor technology.
More information about RDECOM can be found at http://www.rdecom.army.mil.