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Keeping Communication Lines Open

Release Date: July 25, 2017

This past week, I joined my team in Idaho Falls, Idaho for JamX 17. This jamming exercise, held at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, gave us the opportunity to evaluate solutions to a threat that can leave responders in the dark in regard to communications—possibly escalating already dire situations.

Under Secretary(Acting) for Science and Technology William Bryan
Under Secretary (Acting) for
Science and Technology
William Bryan

The proliferation of jamming devices led us to look more closely at how they could impact responder communications. Last year, we held an exercise in White Sands, New Mexico to understand the problem. We assessed jamming vulnerabilities to responder communications systems and published an after action report (you can request a copy by contacting: jamming.exercise@hq.dhs.gov).

Building off of our work from last year, JamX 17 focused on the technologies and tactics that can be used to thwart jamming devices in the public safety sector.

Using test scenarios with nearly 300 participants from over 100 federal, state and local public safety and private sector organizations, the goal of JamX 17 was to help responders recognize, respond to, report and resolve jamming incidents. By evaluating these solutions, we can say with more certainty, how responders can be more resilient to the threats of jamming.

Being in Idaho Falls with so many men and women who are working to protect us crystallized how important it is that we bolster our capability to mitigate and overcome this threat. I was grateful to be joined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency among many others on this trip.

When I think about the men and women who are working to protect us—in our communities, at our borders and ports of entry, I know how important it is that they are able to respond quickly and effectively. This is an issue that is important to all of us because we all rely on their work to keep the nation safe and secure.

Out of this exercise, we look forward to bringing these entities solutions. You can find more information regarding last year’s exercise can be found on DHS S&T’s jamming exercise page, which will be updated with more information as we evaluate feedback from this year’s exercise. To learn more, visit S&T and get connected today @dhsscitech on Twitter and Facebook!

Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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