U.S. DHS’ TOPOFF 3 Exercise to Use Rapidly Deployed, Radio Interoperability Solution with NJ and CT Public Safety Agencies
Washington, DC – The congressionally-supported TOPOFF 3 exercise, with 16,000 participants, will simulate a large-scale, multipoint terrorist attack with a coordinated national and international response. Eleven participating agencies in New Jersey and Connecticut will be using “Incident Commanders’ Radio InterfaceTM” devices (ICRI) to provide radio interoperability for first-responders, and commanders to share information and enhance “situational awareness”.
The April 4-8, 2005 exercise will recreate a complex terrorist campaign, including a simulated biological attack in New Jersey’s Union and Middlesex Counties, and a chemical attack in New London Connecticut. Communications-Applied Technology’s Incident Commanders’ Radio InterfaceTM, currently in use with agencies in both states, will be deployed to provide immediate, on-the-scene interoperability that bridges the different radios used by fire, police, HAZMAT, public safety and homeland security first-responders.
The TOPOFF 3 emergency response will begin with the homeland security systems in Connecticut and New Jersey, and lead to national and international assistance from the U.K. and Canada. Participants from more than 200 Federal, State, local, tribal, private sector, and international agencies and organizations and volunteer groups will be active in the five-day exercise.
The ICRI was successfully used by first responders during the 2003 TOPOFF 2, which involved two separate and simultaneously evolving, man-made disasters in northern Illinois. TOPOFF 2 created the largest mobilization of equipment and personnel experienced by Illinois’ fire service mutual aid organization. At TOPOFF 3, additional functions sought by public safety officials will include commercial two-way radios “talking” to NextelTM telephones equipped with “Direct ConnectTM” capabilities.
First-responders, without specialized training as Communications Technicians, will be able to bridge radios from various responding agencies on different radio frequencies as the highly fluid attack and response scenarios unfold. Using the small, AA battery-powered ICRI, they will be able to establish radio interoperability in 2-5 minutes.
Military and public safety agencies that have selected the ICRI for the simplicity of operation in supporting their field activities include: Pentagon Force Protection Agency, NORTHCOM Joint Task Force-Civil Support, Houston Police Department (Texas), Fairfax County Fire & Rescue (Virginia), Seattle Fire Department (Washington), and FEMA’s US&R MATF-01 (Massachusetts), plus many additional communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.