DHS S&T to Take Part in NATO NICS Exercise (Learn More, Videos)

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) will be participating in the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre’s (EADRCC) 17th Consequence Management Field Exercise in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 24-29, 2017. 

This exercise is part of the partnership kicked off last November with S&T, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other partner countries to develop a civil emergency coordination pilot system in the Western Balkans.

The system is based on the S&T-funded information sharing platform for first responders Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS), developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory

(Learn More about NICS, a mobile web-based command and control environment for dynamically escalating incidents from first alarm to extreme-scale that facilitates collaboration across multiple levels of preparedness, planning, response, and recovery for all-risk/all-hazard events. Courtesy of DHS, Wildfire Today and YouTube. Revised on Feb. 7, 2014)

DHS S&T recently made NICS available worldwide for first responder and emergency management agencies on GitHub: https://github.com/1stResponder.

NATO’s use of NICS can help enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief worldwide. DHS S&T also looks forward to learning from this implementation how innovative solutions like NICS can continue to improve these efforts.

William N. Bryan, DHS Under Secretary (Acting) for Science and Technology
William N. Bryan, DHS Under Secretary (Acting) for Science and Technology

“The global threats and humanitarian crises facing us today have no borders,” said DHS Under Secretary (acting) for Science and Technology William N. Bryan.

“This project, under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Program, offers S&T an opportunity for international collaboration on research and development activities targeted to identifying creative, force-multiplying solutions and capturing innovative ideas for filling capability gaps needed to make our communities safer and more secure.” 

Under Secretary Bryan will observe the exercise along with, S&T Director of Research and Development Partnerships Joseph Martin and a team of evaluators from S&T’s First Responders Group.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro will each have teams testing NICS as part of the pilot project.  

As NATO’s principal civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic area, EADRCC involves NATO’s 29 allies and all partner countries.

(See a NATO-run disaster response exercise, Crna Gora 2016, with scenarios for flood response and chemical weapons incidents organized by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Nearly 700 people are taking part from 32 NATO Allies and partner countries. Courtesy of NATO and YouTube. Posted on Nov 7, 2016)

The Centre functions as a clearing-house system for coordinating both requests and offers of assistance, mainly to address natural and man-made disasters.