By Sam Bendett
Joint Interagency Field Experiments, Camp Roberts, CA: On 10-13 Feb, Mr. Sam Bendett, TIDES Research Analyst, attended Joint Interagency Field Experiments at Camp Roberts, CA, that brought together DoD, DHS, private sector and NGOs attendees for technical field testing and policy discussions of joint disaster relief and emergency response. This quarterly
event is held under the aegis of DoD and DHS to promote cross-cutting approaches, public-private and public-public partnerships, as well as to reinforce interagency cooperation among Combatant Commands and their civilian and private sector counterparts. Nearly 400 registered participants representing 55 military, 17 federal and 11 state and local organizations joined 6 NGOs, 17 universities and 130 commercial organizations in the conduct of more than 50 experiments.
Participants included NORTHCOM, CENTCOM, PACOM, EUCOM, STRATCOM, TRANSCOM and CYBERCOM, National Guard Bureau, DHS (including FEMA, CBP, ICE), Health and Human Services and Department of State. Participants also included a variety of local jurisdictions were represented as well.
For the interagency stakeholders a series of social media experiments was initially designed to review social media intake from Twitter during 2012 Hurricane Sandy in order to streamline analysis and application of such data by emergency personnel on the ground. However, an approaching winter storm on the East Coast provided a unique opportunity to see social media use first hand, and participants regrouped to conduct analysis of the snow storm developing in Georgia and created information products that were shared via the Humanity Roads NGO with Emergency Management officials in Atlanta, Georgia. The COCOMs followed this closely. Currently each COCOM CDR wants some social media capability but the details and directions for its use are still vague. JIFX is, and will continue to be, an event that informs COCOMs regarding the limits and potential of these technologies to increase situational awareness. This is anticipated to aid in the development of more appropriate requirements.
PACOM, NPS, Center of Excellence for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance and National Defense University initiated discussions that would apply capabilities and relationships developed at JIFX in support of the development of a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief mission module – a concept that includes a range of physical and virtual solutions that can be quickly deployed – initially for the Littoral Combat Ships, but applicable to a variety of ship types. The goal would be to use the process to create and refine requirements for such a capability.
Sam Bendett is a Research Analyst (Domestic Disaster Response) for the TIDES project at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy in National Defense University