In July 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate assembled first responders and communications technicians from across the country to explore the effects of radio frequency interference on emergency communications during its Responder Electronic Jamming Exercise at White Sands Missile Range.
“The exercise at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico gave participants firsthand experience dealing with intentional interference (jamming) in operational situations and spurred discussions of how to counter it through improved communications procedures,” DHS said in an announcement about the 2016 exercise that “helped first responders better understand how spectrum interference may impact their communication devices and mission response.”
Working closely with first responders from across the country, (S&T) is planning the 2017 exercise – called JamX 17 – at Idaho National Labs this summer.
“JamX 17 will dive deeper to assess new technologies and tactics that can help responders identify, locate and mitigate the impact of interference. Our goal is to help responders across the county build more resilient communication networks and prepare them to recognize, respond to, report and resolve interference incidents when they occur,” DHS said.
DHS stresses that, “Communications are a lifeline for first responders – they depend on devices and systems that are reliable and resilient to interference in order to save lives and protect our communities. Spectrum interference – anything that interferes with radio, GPS or cellular signals—affects GPS, cell phones and radios, and can hinder a responder from acting quickly or communicating effectively with other members of the public safety community.
Join DHS live Facebook TechTalk on Wednesday, May 17 at 12:00 PM EST. JamX 17 Exercise Director Sridhar Kowdley, will answer questions about DHS S&T’s work on spectrum resiliency.