SOURCE: AtHoc

AtHoc

July 14, 2015 12:00 ET

Pentagon Conducts Cross-Agency Crisis Communications Exercise Using AtHoc Connect™

Exercise Enables Defense and Homeland Security Agencies Across the National Capital Region to Achieve Real-Time Interoperable Communications

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 14, 2015) - AtHoc, Inc., the leader in networked crisis communication, today announced the successful completion of a cross-agency communications exercise conducted by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA). The exercise was designed to test PFPA's ability to quickly and securely share information with a variety of mission partners during an emergency.

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With representation from all four Department of Defense (DoD) Services -- Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, as well as from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), this exercise showcased both intra-departmental and interoperable communications between agencies in times of crisis. Each of the participating agencies successfully sent and received communications while maintaining internal control of how notifications were routed in accordance with their own requirements, and without the need to share personally identifiable information (PII) outside of their agency. The exercise documented the ability to communicate and share information with mission partners during emergency operations.

PFPA has the complex responsibility of communicating across a wide variety of disparate local and federal agencies in the greater Washington, D.C. area. To support this mission, PFPA uses the AtHoc Interactive Warning System (IWS) to notify assigned personnel of security-related events. The vast majority of DoD and DHS organizations also use AtHoc IWS to reach their personnel, yet their capabilities reside on disparate networks, limiting ability to share crisis information across organizations. This barrier has been addressed by AtHoc's recent introduction of AtHoc Connect™, a permission-based highly secure solution that empowers mission partners to communicate and collaborate within and across their network boundaries in times of crisis. Mission partners elect individually what information to share with which organization, and when information is shared.

AtHoc Connect is available to all AtHoc customers without additional licensing costs. AtHoc customers can also expand their crisis communications network to include organizations that don't currently use AtHoc for crisis communications.

The requirement to implement effective inter-agency interoperable communications has long been recognized by the emergency response community, with concrete lessons captured from high profile incidents, including the Ft. Hood shooting in 2009, Washington Navy Yard shooting in 2014, Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Most recently such requirements led Congress to pass H.R. 615, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Interoperable Communications Act, which was signed into law on July 3, 2015. Congress recognized that interagency cross communication and coordination in times of crisis is of crucial importance, and therefore set specific interoperability requirements within DHS.

"Coordinating and information sharing across organizations is one of our greatest challenges in the homeland security and public safety community. We were pleased that AtHoc Connect proved to be helpful in supporting PFPA's inter-agency communication requirements," said Guy Miasnik, President and CEO of AtHoc. "The exercise gives us confidence that we have a flexible and secure crisis communication platform to enable coordination and information sharing for the most demanding organizations."

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About AtHoc
AtHoc is the pioneer and recognized leader in networked crisis communication, protecting millions of people around the world. AtHoc provides a seamless and reliable exchange of critical information among organizations, their people, devices and external entities. A trusted partner to the world's most demanding customers, AtHoc is the #1 provider to the US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and safeguards numerous other government agencies and leading commercial enterprises. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the company operates around the globe. For more information about AtHoc, please visit www.athoc.com.