Military maps out homeland help

The four main military branches are working on a memorandum of agreement to define what technologies and services they use and how they will work together to support other first responders and the proposed Homeland Security Department.

Michael Albarelli, director of homeland security at the Army Communications-Electronics Command, said a working group, which also includes members from the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps, met last week at Hanscom Air Force Base in Lexington, Mass., to iron out the details of the memorandum.

The Defense Department military services are looking at what technologies, processes and equipment they have that first responders could use in the event of a natural disaster or other national emergency. Lessons learned from last year's terrorist attacks provide the foundation for the memo, which also includes governance on "how we operate jointly in those types of" events, Albarelli said.

Once a final copy of the memorandum is ready, the working group will submit it to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where officials will review it before submitting it to the proposed Homeland Security Department, he said.

"Everyone has a copy of it, and we're moving out," Albarelli said. "It should be signed in about a month."

DOD is not looking for a leadership role in homeland security, but rather is concerned with how the military services can best support the proposed department, other civilian agencies and first responders in a disaster situation, he said.

"We believe we can help them," Albarelli said.

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