August 18, 2005
CWID 2005 After Action Report identifies Top Technologies for Homeland Defense/Security Transformation
NORTHCOM cites “ICRI” for interoperability, information exchange between military, homeland security, civilian agencies
Reston, Virginia – US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) released its “Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration 2005 After Action Report”, citing three technologies out of the 49 trialed that met its top criteria for further funding and evaluation by Joint Forces Command. Of those three is the “Incident Commanders’ Radio Interface” (“ICRI”), a small rapidly deployable device that links voice communications across incompatible radios and other communications equipment.
Realigned this year to focus on security within US borders and to defeat the Global War on Terrorism, CWID 2005 is the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s annual proving ground for technologies that improve interoperability amongst U.S. war-fighters, anti-terrorism forces, and international coalition partners. The goal of CWID is to acquire the solutions that are successful in the exercises and make them operational within 6-12 months. Two ICRIs have already been acquired by NORTHCOM HQ and six by NORTHCOM's Joint Task Force – Civil Support.
Manufactured by Communications-Applied Technology, the ICRI created tactical interoperability, linking military and non-military radios, VoIP and telephone systems despite their dissimilar waveforms and frequencies. By providing voice communications amongst traditional military allies, a large contingent of non-DoD government agencies, national law enforcement, and the first-responder community, the ICRI demonstrated the operational value and technical maturity for improving the information exchange and situational awareness strategies required by NORTHCOM.
The ICRI’s functionality stands in contrast to previous software-based solutions that could not be rapidly deployed, preventing agencies and teams from establishing real-time radio interoperability. The After Action Report states “the ‘ICRI’ is appropriate to most levels of government that participate in military and state/municipal crisis response operations, including: Governmental Department/Agency (DHS, DOJ, DOT, FEMA, USCG, FBI, CIA, etc.), Combatant Command Theater, Coalition Task Force Commander and/or Staff, Air, Land, Maritime, Special Operation Forces, and Tactical Level (Division, Ship, Aircraft, etc.).
During CWID '05, the ICRI permitted Inter-Agency interoperability; creating voice collaboration between VHF radios and 800MHz trunked radios from Peterson AFB, 800 MHz radios from the Colorado Springs Police Department, repeated VHF radios from the Air Force Academy, a “talk around”/conventional UHF Army Theater Squad Radio, and an ICRI radio operator handset.
Peterson Air Force Base Security Forces used the ICRI during a June ‘05 air show where it successfully bridged the legacy 150 MHz system and the follow on 19 channel trunked radio system, allowing the Security Forces Squadron to operate with one seamless communications infrastructure rather than two incompatible radio systems.
Additional information on CWID can be found at www.cwid.js.mil