Intelligence Support to Training

November 5, 2013

Evolving training to meet the most current threats to the Homeland Security Community is generally reactionary; however, the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) has taken proactive approach to enhance the quality of training at the State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) and counter the most current threats.

Traditionally, training was created only after an organizational deficit was identified. This flows chronologically from the identified deficit, creating the policy, implementing policy, creating training, then implementing training. Designing training using this method tends to put the whole community one step behind the threat. By building flexible, scalable training utilizing and implementing Intelligence Support to Training, the NCSP has evolved training to meet the most current threats. Intelligence Support to Training at the NCSP is comprised of several important components that enhance training on numerous levels.

First is the SimCell which has been highlighted previously. One of the major roles of the SimCell is simulating a regional intelligence center. The SimCell gathers information collected by students during scenario-based-activities and then disseminates evaluated and pertinent intelligence to assist students on subsequent scenario-based-activities. The second component of Intelligence Support to Training is the research and development of case studies and training aids. Case studies afford students an in-depth and analytical look at recent real-world cases and events. Training aids are provided to instructors, staff members, and affiliated organizations to enhance situational awareness of recent events. Case studies and training aids differ in that case studies are presented from an analytical perspective and focus on the "left-of-boom" or pre-attack events. Training aids are presented from the responders' point of view and focus on the "right-of-boom" or post event activity. Lastly, the NCSP has built adversaries into scenarios that reflect both the DHS Universal Adversary and the FBI's definition of a Home Grown Violent Extremist. These adversaries are more than just "bad guys" in that background information is provided to complete the scenario and paint the whole picture for students.

Combining these components is important to creating effective scenario based training. The adversaries built into scenarios provide an added element of realism and increase the depth of information given to students. Both case studies and training aids allow for the timely dissemination of trends, tactics, and procedures to the whole community and ensure the most relevant tactics, techniques, and procedures are being taught. All of these combine to give responders the tools necessary to deal with current and evolving threats.

The NCSP is capable of employing Intelligence Support to Training because of its exemplary contingent of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from across the Homeland Security Community, and staff members with intelligence backgrounds. The NCSP also takes a proactive approach by maintaining situational awareness of current events and monitoring of relevant events that may impact the Homeland Security Community.