The National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Planning, Training, and Exercise (PTE) Committee focuses on capturing best practices and streamlining information sharing for training and exercise processes related to public safety communications at all levels of government. The Committee coordinates closely with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on service offerings. The NCSWIC PTE Committee met in Boise, Idaho, April 9-10, 2019, to discuss the COMM-X Portal, exercises-in-a-box templates, and outreach products. Participants also toured the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
COMM-X Portal Update
Jessica Kaputa, CISA, and Cary Martin, CISA, provided a demonstration of the COMM-X Portal and updated the committee on progress. The COMM-X Joint Training and Exercise Portal for Emergency Communications is a one-stop-shop for planners and operators to access emergency communications-specific training and exercise material, events and resources hosted on the Homeland Security Information Network.
The COMM-X Portal Beta version was launched on April 15th for a 30 days for users to upload training and exercise documents and provide feedback on potential improvements. For feedback or questions on the COMM-X Portal, please contact the team at COMM-Xportal@hq.dhs.gov.
John Miller, New Jersey Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) and NCSWIC PTE Chair, and Thomas Gonzalez, Texas Department of Public Safety, provided an update on the exercises-in-a-box templates. The committee is currently working on three exercises-in-a-box templates to upload on the COMM-X Portal and share with training and exercise coordinators for use in their exercise planning. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Support Function #2 Earthquake Situation Manual will be published on the NCSWIC resources page and the COMM-X Portal in May.
Participants went on a tour of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), located in Boise, Idaho. The NIFC is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting and eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC. Decisions are made using the interagency cooperation concept, as NIFC has no single director or manager. The committee saw the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC), the NIFC radio cache, Boise BLM Smokejumper School, and the National Weather Service – Boise.