CCICADA Briefs US Coast Guard’s Third-in-Command on Its Work to Help the Agency Deal with Homeland Security Threats

RADM Charles Michel RADM Charles Michel

CCICADA executives and researchers briefed Rear Admiral Charles D. Michel, third in command in the US Coast Guard, on the success of collaborative efforts to make the agency more effective and efficient in carrying out its homeland security missions.

CCICADA also presented new technologies that could help the USCG deal with future anticipated threats to the American people, such as an imagined terrorist attack on a Boston commuter ferry.

The presentations were made on April 27-28, 2014, during Admiral Michel’s visit to the Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA) at the Center’s offices on the campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, CCICADA’s lead institution.

RADM Michel was accompanied by Dr. Joe DiRenzo III, Senior Advisor to the Area Commander for Science, Technology and Innovation, Coast Guard Atlantic Area (LANT-097), and Kevin J. Hanson, Commander, CG-771. They met with Dr. Fred S. Roberts, CCICADA Director, and researchers and graduate students from across the Center’s partners including Rutgers University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mellon University.

Admiral Michel, who was promoted to Vice Admiral as of May 1, 2014, is third in the line of command within the USCG chain of authority and now oversees world-wide USCG deployment and operations.

The purpose of the visit was to demonstrate CCICADA’s developed technologies on plausible disaster event scenarios relevant to the USCG mission; brief the Admiral on the various projects with which CCICADA is engaged with the USCG; and discuss how CCICADA and the USCG can continue and enhance collaboration and partnership going forward.

The Admiral also had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Richard Edwards, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Chancellor, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, who expressed the University’s strong support of the USCG-CCICADA relationship.

As mentioned above, CCICADA presented two disaster scenarios and demonstrated how CCICADA developed technologies could assist with USCG planning and disaster response.

The first scenario, The Ferry Scenario (an attack on a Boston Harbor commuter ferry after the Boston Marathon), provided the  background for the demonstration of the CCICADA technologies: Tools for Events Monitoring through Social Media and Information Extraction for Social Media, where information from and about the event is extracted in real-time to provide responders like the USCG the opportunity to quickly identify and respond to an emerging disaster event.

The second scenario, The Super Bowl Scenario (adversaries target and contaminate the food supply at the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium) was the backdrop to demonstrate four additional CCICADA technologies:

  1. MCAP: Mobile Computing Application Platform for Situational Awareness in Disaster Response, a technology that provides shared real-time multi-agency incident command, coordination and response via mobile technologies (tablets, smart phones, etc.);
  2. Real Time Optimization of Emergency Response with Social Media, which takes and deciphers social media messaging to identify areas of critical need and coordinates the delivery of supplies and services;
  3. Wikifier, which provides event-specific information and understanding to aid event identification and response action; and
  4. Web Archival Tool (WAT), which identifies potential and emerging illegal activities through trolling of websites.

Also presented was research on similar social media technologies that were applied to the Japanese Tsunami to determine the event timeline.

CCICADA researchers also covered ongoing projects that represent the broad range of USCG-CCICADA partnership. These discussions provided the Admiral with an overview of the work and the ability to conduct “what-if” experiments with some of the tools developed. The following projects were discussed:

  1. Boat Allocation Module I (BAM I) USCG wide allocation of boat assets to meet mission hours and/or budgetary constraints);
  2. Boat Allocation Module II (BAM II) Enhanced boat asset allocation that examines the allocation enhancement of asset sharing);
  3. Aviation Capability & Capacity Assignment Module (ACCAM) – Optimal allocation of aircraft assets to meet search and rescue mission requirements under a wide range of varying constraints and characteristics;
  4. Dynamic Modeling for Arctic Resource Allocation (DMARA) – Asset allocation planning tools to respond to changing mission demands in the arctic region; and
  5. Targeted Risk-based Approach to Fisheries Law Enforcement – Tools in aid of prioritizing ship boarding to increase the likelihood of identifying/finding fisheries and/or safety violations.

CCICADA researchers discussed the possibility of applying the fisheries enforcement techniques to other USCG law enforcement efforts such as drug interdiction and illegal immigration. They also introduced a collaborative proposal with the Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR) to review maritime cyber security issues.   Like CCICADA, CSR is a US Department of Homeland Security University Center of Excellence. It is located at Stevens Institute of New Jersey.

Admiral Michel’s visit to CCICADA is representative of the ongoing research-homeland security enterprise collaboration, which is a critical part of the goals and objectives of the University Programs initiative. CCICADA researchers and students work closely with USCG staff and managers in formulating problems and identifying sound approaches that are effective and feasible.

CCICADA greatly appreciates the personal interest of the highest ranks within the USCG. Admiral Michel’s visit further solidified a strong partnership with the USCG which is certain to continue and expand in the future.

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