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EXCLUSIVE: HDIAC is Helping Resolve Complex Homeland Defense Challenges Through Knowledge Base

EXCLUSIVE: HDIAC is Helping Resolve Complex Homeland Defense Challenges Through Knowledge Base Homeland Security TodayDriven by changes in US government policy to incorporate the best practices gleaned from decades of operational experience, the Department of Defense (DoD) restructured its Information Analysis Centers (IACs) by creating the Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center (HDIAC), a DoD Knowledge Center of Excellence managed by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).

HDIAC’s mission is to provide information and collaboration for homeland defense and security, and establishes, provides and maintains knowledge bases of existing scientific and technical information (STI) to DoD organizations; federal, state, and local governments; academia and industry.

HDIAC is integral to how the government responds to the threats of asymmetrical warfare, to include terrorism. HDIAC has been established to save DoD scientists substantial time and effort by quickly locating key information and by providing analytical support to address critical emerging needs in a timely manner.

"As one of three IACs under the new DoD IAC structure,” Stephen C. Malone, EXCLUSIVE: HDIAC is Helping Resolve Complex Homeland Defense Challenges Through Knowledge Base Homeland Security Todaythe recently appointed director of the Falls Church, Virginia-based HDIAC, told Homeland Security Today in an exclusive interview. “HDIAC manages, analyzes and disseminates relevant scientific and technical information (STI) in eight major homeland defense focus areas: homeland defense and security, critical infrastructure protection, WMD, CBRN defense, biometrics, medical, cultural studies, and alternative energy.”

“HDIAC’s mission,” Malone said, “is executed under the daily direction of the DoD IAC Program Management Office, with operational and policy guidance from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

A retired US Army officer with 35 years of combined military and private industry experience across HDIAC’s focus areas, he spent more than six years in the Pentagon resolving Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear defense, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), critical infrastructure protection and homeland defense issues with other federal departments and agencies to realign the IAC focus to match the top priorities of the Secretary of Defense; increased synergy across related technology areas; increased opportunities for small businesses; and lowered cost and improved quality through enhanced competition.

Malone said HDIAC implements the following strategic goals:

  • Use the best knowledge and technical expertise from government, industry and academia to solve tough STI problems in homeland defense;
  • Serve as a ready tool for strategic, operational and tactical organizations in DoD and the broader homeland defense community to resolve issues;
  • Build a community of homeland defense subject matter experts (SMEs) and provide long- term STI corporate memory for DoD; and
  • Build networks to reduce duplicate information holdings and provide analytical capabilities in research and development components.

“As a multi-disciplined IAC,” Malone said, “HDIAC engages in developing and exchanging information and knowledge based on the wealth of our SMEs’ experience, and reaches out to federal government agencies, state and local governments, academia and industry to develop and share information across the homeland defense community.This knowledge is applied to resolve complex homeland defense challenges facing the DoD and the US government.”

“HDIAC is an essential resource for cost-effectively fielding superior warfighting capabilities in today’s ever-changing, highly technological environment,” Malone said.

The HDIAC operations center focuses on providing value to warfighters through two avenues: collect, analyze and disseminate and expand HDIAC knowledge and presence within DoD.

Malone said, “We operate the HDIAC website, prepare quarterly journals with a calendar of relevant HDIAC events, annually develop and write two state-of-the-art reports (SOARs) within the eight focus areas, add foreign language STI to the collection for research, catalog and link to relevant datasets, and provide a strong, engaged, multi-disciplined team to deliver expertise in all focus areas.”

“Communities of practice within HDIAC work together to support the warfighter, industry, academia and researchers who provide input for operational decisions,” Malone said, noting that, “As synergy increases across related technology areas, access to evaluated STI from a variety of operations is increased. Networks are built, helping reduce duplicate information holdings EXCLUSIVE: HDIAC is Helping Resolve Complex Homeland Defense Challenges Through Knowledge Base Homeland Security Todayand while increasing analytical capabilities in research and development (R&D).”

And, Malone said, “With a growing community of homeland defense SMEs, HDIAC provides long-term STI corporate memory for DoD. We are a ready tool to help strategic, operational and tactical organizations in DoD and the broader homeland defense community to resolve issues. We use the best knowledge and technical expertise from government, industry and academia to solve tough STI problems in homeland defense.”

Continuing, Malone said, “The Core Analysis Task (CAT) is a separately funded effort over and above basic HDIAC products and services, where challenging technical problems beyond the scope of a no-cost basic inquiry can be further examined, studied and resolved. Through a CAT, HDIAC is a contracting vehicle allowing DoD and others to obtain specialized support for specific projects such as the following:

  • Publications in print, electronic or other media;
  • Attendance at conferences, meetings, symposia, or workshops; and
  • Education and training activities

Below are some advantages to using an HDIAC CAT, as Malone pointed out to Homeland Security Today:

Quick start-up. Not only does HDIAC provide DoD and other agencies with a contract vehicle, but it also provides a pre-competed award. Work begins in as little as 4-6 weeks.

Expansive technical domain. The broad scope of HDIAC focus areas provides substantial project resources, and it is especially valuable for efforts that cross multiple domains.

Application of current STI. Because results from all HDIAC CATs and homeland defense technical area tasks are collected, stored and used to support future HDIAC efforts, all new CATs draw from recent studies conducted for DoD.

The SME Network. Support is leveraged from the expansive HDIAC SME network, which includes HDIAC staff, team members and the expanding community of practice. Its growing external SME network complements HDIAC’s internal SMEs.

HDIAC SMEs bring a combination of academic and operational expertise in the eight HDIAC focus areas. External SMEs are being developed through several methods:

  • Professionals visit hdiac.org, click on “Become an SME,” and complete and submit the application;
  • In-house SMEs reach out to professionals at conferences and exhibitions; and
  • We use social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to encourage homeland defense professionals to join HDIAC’s SME network.

Photo bottom: Crystal Sherline (left) works on a technical inquiry while Teresa Lamarche (center/standing) and Desiree Eldridge (right) work together on gathering information for a technical report for a client.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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