The Office of Homeland Security will lead an exercise to test linking command centers with the White House
Within the next two months, the Office of Homeland Security will lead an
exercise to test the possibility of linking federal, state and local incident
command centers across the country with the White House situation room during
times of emergency.
During the past several months, the office has set up off-site incident
coordination and support centers that provide around-the-clock assistance
for prevention and response, said Stephen King, director of investigations
and law enforcement within the Office of Homeland Security's Threat, Countermeasures
and Incident Management Directorate. King was speaking Aug. 20 at the Government
Symposium on Information Sharing and Homeland Security in Philadelphia.
The Office of Homeland Security Coordination Center is a high-level
interagency group that is constantly on call to monitor and respond to threats
identified by intelligence and law enforcement. While the members of that
group come together in response to a call — usually within a half an hour
— the Office of Homeland Security Incident Support Group provides a live
video link between the White House and state and local first responders,
The exercise will test the links for this support group, King said.
A communications working group already is in place with participants from
federal, state and local agencies looking at the specific technology issues
involved in creating the nationwide connection, he said.
"That sort of connectivity will be critical to quick response," King
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