NJ tests threat database

More than 400 New Jersey first responders and federal authorities participated this past weekend in one of the largest terrorist emergency exercises ever held in the state.

The Nov. 15 exercise — the culmination of three years of planning — simulated an explosion in a cargo container involving radiological and chemical weapons at Port Newark, which is one of the leading destinations for international shippers on the East Coast and third largest in the country.

Responders tested the Chemical Biological Response Aide, or CoBRA, developed by Alexandria, Va.-based Defense Group Inc. (DGI). CoBRA is an electronic reference library of chemical, biological, radiological and explosives threat data, as well as government best practices and local protocols for responding to incidents. The system includes software and wireless-enabled, ruggedized laptops.

Neil Cohen, DGI marketing director, said exercise controllers and trainers would also use CoBRA as an evaluation tool. Normally, evaluators collect data during exercises on paper. But DGI digitized and automated the forms so data can be amassed and analyzed quickly and accurately during and after the exercise. It's the second exercise that the system's new evaluation application is being used, Cohen said.

More than 2,000 federal, state and local organizations use CoBRA, including FBI-accredited state and local bomb squads, first responder agencies, and several federal civilian and military agencies, Cohen said. CoBRA has been used in about a dozen simulated exercises since it was developed in the fall of 2001, he said.

Participants in the one-day, six hour exercise included the New Jersey State Police, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the state Attorney General's Office and Medical Examiner's Office, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Newark and Elizabeth police and fire departments, Union and Essex counties' prosecutor's offices, the Homeland Security Department, the FBI, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.