Despite its heavy commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. National Guard has been quietly but steadily building up its homeland-defense and domestic-operations capabilities as well - at minimum cost to U.S. taxpayers.
Improvised explosive devices are harmful to children and other living things. Carried in a truck or other vehicle they become mobile bombs - which, combined with toxic chemicals, can kill not only the bodies but also the minds of an entire population.
Emergency medical services units are of life-or-death importance at the scene of large-scale incidents producing numerous casualties. But those units are overcommitted and frequently understaffed. Here is how local fire departments can help close the gap.
The Coast Guard's Captains of the Port have the primary responsibility for developing effective port-security plans for their jurisdictions, but it has to be an all-hands effort or there will be, in nautical terms, a bitter end.
During the past three decades the introduction of a broad and varied spectrum of mobile data-access systems has revolutionized the communications capabilities of law-enforcement agencies at all levels of government.
The federal government has several ways for state and local jurisdictions to repair and/or restore their communications systems in times of disaster. But many jurisdictions either don't know how, or don't have the money; neither excuse is acceptable.
Science may be wonderful, but it is also extremely lethal, particularly when used to manufacture illegal drugs. The clandestine meth labs set up in cities throughout the United States are prime examples of disasters waiting to happen.
Attendees at the DHS security "summit" conference last month represented a broad spectrum of small-vessel operators and other stakeholders. The consensus verdict: Much was accomplished, but much more remains to be done.
The U.S. National Guard, already heavily committed in Iraq, faces an even more daunting challenge: protection of the U.S. homeland. DPJ's managing editor discusses the Vigilant Guard exercise series with senior National Guard officials.