Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan by ouu11658

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									Tactical Interoperable
Communications Plan
          Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington
               Urban Area Security Initiative

                Executive Summary

 North Central Texas Council of Governments
Tactical Interoperable
Communications Plan
     Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington
          Urban Area Security Initiative

            Executive Summary

                    North Central Texas
                    Council of Governments

              Cover design by Kristy Libotte Keener
                       Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Urban Area Security Initiative


Wayne Gent, President                                      Bobbie Mitchell
County Judge, Kaufman County                               Commissioner, Denton County

T. Oscar Trevino, P.E., Vice President                     John Murphy
Mayor, City of North Richland Hills                        Mayor Pro Tem, City of Richardson

Chad Adams, Secretary-Treasurer                            Chuck Silcox
County Judge, Ellis County                                 Mayor Pro Tem, City of Fort Worth

Bob Phelps, Past President                                 Tom Vandergriff
Mayor, City of Farmers Branch                              County Judge, Tarrant County

Bill Blaydes                                               Bobby Waddle
Councilmember, City of Dallas                              Mayor Pro Tem, City of DeSoto

Mike Cantrell                                              Jerry Gilmore
Commissioner, Dallas County                                General Counsel

Pat Evans
Mayor, City of Plano

Greg Hirsch
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Town of Addison


Mike Eastland                                              Gerard Eads, Technical Working Group Chair
 Executive Director                                         Communications Administrator
 NCTCOG                                                     City of Arlington
                                                           Kelly King, Operations Working Group Chair
Fred Keithley                                               Fire Chief & Emergency Manager
  Director of Community Services                            City of Keller
                                                           Technical Working Group
Jonathan Holt                                              Jim Baron
  Coordinator of Public Safety Communications                Managing Consultant
  NCTCOG                                                     RCC Consultants, Inc.
                                                           Bill Bowens
GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE                                         Manager of ITS Programs
                                                             DFW Airport
Dan Scrivner, Chair                                        Willie Cowart
 Communications Architect                                    Sr. Tactical Communications Officer
 City of Dallas                                              DHS/ U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Peter Ungar, Vice-Chair                                    Gerard Eads
 Chief CommunicationsOfficer, Asst. IT Director              Communications Services Administrator
 City of Fort Worth                                          City of Arlington
Gary Gilbert                                  George Grant
  Communications & Electronics Manager          Emergency Management Coordinator
  City of Irving                                City of Richardson
Ron Goldsmith                                 Kevin Gregory
  Radio System Manager                          Police Captain
  City of Plano                                 City of White Settlement
Harry Hettinger                               Sam Greif
  Communications Manager                        Battalion Chief
  Denton Municipal Electric                     City of Fort Worth
John Knight                                   John Harazda
  Communications Supervisor,                    Telecommunications Manager
  Ellis County                                  Bureau of Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms & Explosives
Robert Pletcher                               Phillip Herbst
  Chairman, Interagency Radio Working Group     Regional Communications Supervisor
  Texas Dept. of Public Safety                  Texas Dept. of Public Safety
Bill Rankin                                   Mike Holley
  Telecommunications Manager                    Telecommunications Manager
  DHS/ U.S. Secret Service                      FBI
Dan Scrivner                                  Jerry Holmes
  Communications Architect                      Telecommunications Manager
  City of Dallas                                FEMA
Brad Simpkins                                 Joe Kay
  Assistant Emergency Manager                   Deputy Fire Chief
  Denton County                                 City of Dallas
Peter Ungar                                   Kelly King
  Chief Communications Officer                  Fire Chief & Emergency Manager
  City of Fort Worth                            City of Keller
Mark Weathersby                               Rick Lasky
  Communications Manager                        Fire Chief
  Dallas County                                 City of Lewisville
Alan Williams                                 Joel McKinney
  Technical Services Manager                    Disaster District Chair/DPS
  Denton County                                 City of Fort Worth
                                              Pam Palmisano
Operations Working Group                        Captain
David Abernathy                                 Collin County Sheriff's Office
  Fire Services Coordinator                   Jim Pratt
  Texas Forest Service                          Radio Systems Coordinator
Wayne Barber                                    Tarrant County Information Technology
  Technical Enforcement Agent                 Randy Renois
  U.S. Dept. Of Homeland Security               Fire Marshall
Charles Cinquemani                              Tarrant County
  Assistant Vice-President, Communications    Robie Robinson
  DFW Airport                                   Security and Emergency Management Director
Tom Cowan                                       Dallas County
  Police Chief                                Jimmy Roland
  City of Burleson                              Deputy Fire Chief
Brian Cudaback                                  City of Mesquite
  Fire Company Commander                      Theodore Schwarz
  City of Arlington                             NASJRB, Recovery
Gregg Dawson                                  Les Smith
  Director of Emergency Management              Criminal Justice Manager
  NCTCOG                                        Tarrant County
Jody Gonzalez                                 Kelley Stone
  Emergency Management Coordinator              Director of Emergency Management
  Denton County                                 Collin County
George Teague                       URBAN AREA SECURITY INITIATIVE
  Fire Chief/Emergency Manager      REPRESENTATIVES
  City of Weatherford
Rick Throckmorton                   Rocky Vaz
  Postal Inspector                    UASI Fund Development Manager
  U.S. Postal Inspection Services     City of Dallas
J.D. Tiwater, Jr.                   Juan Ortiz
  Operations Supervisor               Emergency Management Coordinator
  City of Fort Worth Police Dept.     City of Fort Worth
Harland Westmoreland
  Assistant Chief of Police         Don Crowson
  City of Euless                     Assistant Fire Chief
                                     City of Arlington

                                    RCC Consultants, Inc.
                                    Jim Baron P.E.
                                      Director, Western Region
                                    Tim Driscoll
                                      Senior Consultant
Greater UASI Region
Executive Summary
This Executive Summary is submitted to the North Central Texas Council of
Governments’ Executive Board at the request of the Tactical Interoperable
Communications Plan Governance Committee. The Committee has overseen the Plan’s
development and recommends approval by the Board this day of April 27, 2006. The
Plan was developed to satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, Office of Domestic Preparedness, Information Bulletin 158, April 1, 2005, for
Urban Area Security Initiative jurisdictions, including those in Collin, Dallas, Denton,
Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise Counties. The full Plan may be
viewed by the Board, or other authorized persons.

The following is a brief summary of the Plan.

The Event

The next paragraph briefly describes the event that will be tested as an “exercise” in
2006. The exercise will identify the TIC Plan’s strengths and weaknesses so that remedial
action may be taken.
       A terrorist organization is determined to make a statement in the home state of
       President George W. Bush, and has selected, as its target, the highly urbanized
       area of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Their plan calls for the detonation of
       an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at a sports venue populated with a large
       number of fans and athletes.

The Response

The scenario presented here requires a rapid response from local, state and federal
agencies and includes the participation of law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical
departments and agencies. A wide range of interoperable communications assets that
include cache radios, shared channels and talk-groups, gateways, and shared systems will
be used.
A location that lies in the heart of the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington UASI area
will be the site of the scenario. The map below provides an idea of the location of the
initial incident, which may, due the nature of the device, extend its affects to a much
greater area depending upon a number of factors, weather conditions being one.

                               General Location of Event

Agency Assets

The expected responders to the incident include.
   •   The City of Arlington Police and Fire Departments
   •   The City of Fort Worth Police Department
   •   The City of Fort Worth Fire Department
   •   City of Dallas Fire/Rescue Department
   •   The City of Grand Prairie Fire Department
   •   The City of Irving Fire Department
   •   MedStar and CareFlite Medical Transport
   •   Regional Hospitals – Fort Worth and Arlington
   •   Texas Department of Public Safety
   •   Federal Bureau of Investigation
   •   Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Communications Assets

A wide range of radio bands and radio system technologies will be exercised as part of
the scenario, including the VHF radio band, with both analog and P25 systems; the UHF
band, which is used by the City of Dallas, the 800 MHz band with both M/A-Com and
Motorola 800 MHz trunked equipment being employed, as well as the 800 MHz
conventional mutual aid channels. The list below identifies the systems and other
interoperability assets that can be utilized in the scenario.
   •   The City of Arlington shared 800 MHz Motorola trunked radio system.
   •   The City of Fort Worth shared 800 MHz Motorola analog trunked system.
   •   The 800 MHz NSPAC mutual aid radio channels.
   •   The Department of Justice Project 25 VHF interoperability system.
   •   The State of Texas VHF interoperability channels.
   •   Console and Mobile/Transportable Gateway equipment – DFW Airport, the City
       of Irving, the City of Fort Worth and the City of Arlington.
   •   Radio caches – Fort Worth.

What is Interoperable Radio Communications?
Effective interoperable communications is the ability of public safety service and support
providers—law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, emergency management, public utilities,
transportation, and others—to communicate among themselves, to exchange voice, data,
and video communications on demand and in real time. It is the term that describes how
radio communication systems should operate between and among agencies, and
jurisdictions that respond to common and emergencies. It is a common misconception
that public safety responders can communicate efficiently and effectively in times of
crisis. In many cases, public safety officers do not possess reliable radio communication
systems that allow them to talk to their own agencies.

Equally critical as interoperability is the need for basic communications within public
safety agencies. When the issue of interoperability is raised, some public safety officials
respond that they are unable to even talk to their own personnel. The first priority must be
to provide public safety with mission-critical radio communication systems that provide
reliable agency-specific—law enforcement, fire, EMS—communications. As
jurisdictions build or upgrade current systems, that priority should be expanded to include
the provision of reliable and interoperable local and regional communications, and,
ultimately reliable and interoperable local, State, and Federal communications.

The Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP) is a project coordinated by the
North Central Texas Council of Government for agencies within the Greater Dallas/Fort
Worth/Arlington Urban Areas. This Plan, a requirement of the Office for Domestic
Preparedness (now Office of Grants and Training) 2005 Urban Area Security Initiative
(UASI) grant program, establishes a Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan for the

Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Urban Area, inclusive of Texas Homeland Security
Region 4. The TIC Plan is intended to document what interoperable communications
resources are available within the designated area, who controls each resource, and what
rules of use or operational procedures exist for the activation and deactivation of each
resource. The TIC Plan is primarily directed towards the public safety sector, but it also
recognizes the need for other entities to be involved in the planning process. It is
important to note that although the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington are
designated Urban Area Security Initiative members, the UASI umbrella extends to other
designated public safety agencies located in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Kaufman,
Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise Counties. The nine-county UASI region is illustrated

                                          Greater UASI

The Plan directly affects interoperable response capabilities of the UASI region by
providing, identifying, and categorizing all interoperable assets in one document.

Given the need for a multiple agency response, interagency communications is essential
to allocating resources, securing the scene, caring for victims, requesting assistance, and
mitigating the potential loss of property or life.

Related Information

In May 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the RapidCom
initiative to help improve capabilities for immediate, tactical-level interoperable
communications in ten high-threat urban areas. The Office of Interoperability and
Compatibility (OIC) SAFECOM program, and Department of Homeland Security’s

(DHS) Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) worked in cooperation with federal
partners to assure that incident commanders could communicate with assisting agencies
within one hour of a major incident.

The work done in these urban areas through RapidCom revealed interoperability issues
consistent with those found by the National Task Force on Interoperability (NTFI), such
as incompatibility of equipment, the need for a governance structure, and a lack of
planning and coordination. In response to these findings, SAFECOM developed a
framework called the Interoperability Continuum to graphically depict the five critical
elements of success—governance, standard operating procedures, technology, training
and exercises, and usage of equipment—that must be addressed to develop robust
interoperability solutions. This continuum framework encourages a shift from a
technology-centered focus to a comprehensive operational focus on the key
interoperability success factors.

While the development of tactical plans for incident management interoperability can
provide an interim solution to an area’s interoperability needs, such solutions should
always be in support of long term interoperability by building upon or accelerating long
term strategies and efforts. The Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington UASI Region
Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan makes strong and effective use of the North
Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Interoperable Communications
Initiative. This initiative, currently in the procurement phase across the region, will

utilize the Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan as a component of the
Interoperability Initiative in furthering regional interoperability.

The plan’s development was undertaken on October 14, 2005, when representatives from
the Office of Domestic Preparedness (now Office of Grants and Training) Interoperable
Communications Technical Assistance Program (IC/TAP) met with UASI members to
explain the requirements for Tactical Interoperable Communications Planning.

The Value of a Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan

The TIC Plan is a comprehensive document designed to prepare agencies for tactical
interoperable communications during incidents involving multiple agencies’ responses. It
provides a snapshot of what radio equipment and methods will soon be available and how
those would be used in a tactical situation. When discussing tactical situations, this
references street level or incident level operations. These operations are the very core of
an incident and are directed to the incident commanders and response personnel who are
on scene dealing with emergency situations. Communications at this level is of the
utmost importance and a lack of it at the tactical level can be catastrophic. The tactical
Interoperable Communications Plan identifies the resources available to the Incident
commander, policies for use of these resources, and procedures involving the deployment
and use of the assets. The TIC-Plan is a very detailed accounting of participating
agencies’ existing and planned interoperable communications assets..

This plan follows a template developed by the Department of Homeland Security, Office
of Domestic Preparedness (now Office of Grants and Training). RCC Consultants Inc
was selected to prepare the plan using the template, and more importantly, input from all
participating agencies within the UASI region.

The TIC Plan is divided into six major sections as outlined in the DHS/ODP TIC-Plan

   •   Section 1 – Urban Area Information.
   •   Section 2 – Governance.
   •   Section 3 – Interoperability Equipment and Resources.
   •   Section 4 - Policies and Procedures for Interoperability Equipment.
   •   Section 5 – Plans for Tactical Communications During an Incident.
   •   Section 6 – National Incident Management System Communications Unit Leader

Section 1 provides a high level overview of this region’s demographics and lists the
individual public safety agencies that are directly involved in the generation of the Plan.

Section 2 provides a description of the governing body that will be responsible for the
Plan’s management and maintenance. This section also defines the participating
agencies’ responsibilities. The Governance structure is depicted below.

Section 3 is a summary of the interoperability equipment and radio system resources that
will be made available to support interoperable communications in the Greater
Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington UASI region. The major items that are addressed include:

   •   Radio Caches - Many agencies maintain a set of radios that can be distributed to
       other agencies with incompatible radio equipment that are responding to an
       incident. Given the diversity of the region, there are many different types of radio
       systems that employ various radio frequency bands and/or operate disparate
       system technologies. Maintaining a cache of radios is one strategy that addresses
       supply and demand for compatible interoperable radio communications traffic.
   •   Shared Channels/Talkgroups – Shared channels are those radio frequencies that
       are made available for use by agencies participating in a mutual aid response.
       Shared talkgroups refer to the “virtual” channels available on trunked radio
       systems. These resources are classified in the TIC-Plan as follows:
          o Local – channels/talkgroups set aside by an agency for joint interoperable
          o Regional – designated radio channels available across a multi agency or
            multi-county area.
          o State – specific radio channels designated by the State of Texas for mutual
            aid situations throughout the state.
          o National – specific common radio channels designated for use nationwide.

           o Federal – specific federal National Telecommunications and Information
              Administration (NTIA) radio channels for the Greater Dallas/Fort
              Worth/Arlington area made available for state and local government
              public safety use.
   •   Gateways – The term “gateway” is a general classification of electronic hardware
       that allows the interconnection or “patching” of radio equipment that are
       operating on various radio frequency bands, same frequency bands, but on
       channels not normally available, and/or different system technologies.
           • Gateways can be categorized in a number of ways including:
              1. Fixed - the device is static and situated at a specific location – there are
                  two sub-classifications
                                  o Dedicated fixed gateway – specifically used to
                                     patch radio resources.
                                  o Console gateway – serves as main dispatch point,
                                     but can be used to patch radio resources for
                                     interoperability use.
              2. Mobile - the device is installed in a vehicle and can be moved to an
                  incident scene.
              3. Transportable – the device can be carried and placed in operation in a
                  wide range of situations.

   •   Shared Systems – Shared systems are those that provide radio communications
       on a day-to-day basis to two or more independent agencies. By their very nature,
       interoperable communications can be easily activated since multiple agencies
       share the same radio system architecture. Shared channels and talkgroups are
       generally available to other agencies that do not use the system for their primary

Section 4 provides polices and procedures in the application of the interoperability assets.
Each participating agency’s particular equipment and radio channel/talkgroup resources
are defined along with the general Rules of Use, activation and deactivation procedures,
and problem resolution methods.

Section 5 outlines a scenario that requires a multiple agency response, and consequently,
the activation and use of a wide range of interoperability resources. The scenario is one
that will be exercised as the TIC-Plan is tested and validated.

Section 6 defines the National Incident Command System (NIMS) Communications Unit
Leader Training requirements, competency levels and certification.           The
Communications Unit Leader position is one of the key elements in the proper
application of the TIC-Plan.

The TIC-Plan includes a number of Appendices that contain additional information
regarding each of the major subject areas such as:

   •   Point of Contact Information.

   •   Lists of radio channels/talkgroups.
   •   List of interoperability hardware resources.
   •   Shared System listing.
   •   Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) data.
   •   Incident scenario description and information.
   •   Interoperable Communications System forms.
   •   Glossary.

It is important to note that the Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan is a living
document that will be updated, as needed. As agencies add or change radio equipment,
types of systems, or protocols, the Plan will require changes.

Plan Preparation and Review

On October 14, 2005 representatives from the Office of Domestic Preparedness (now
Office of Grants and Training) Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance
Program met with UASI members to explain more about the development requirement of
a Tactical Interoperability Communications Plan. One of the requirements was that a
governing committee must be selected to oversee the TICP. The UASI leadership
recommended that NCTCOG’s Executive Board’s Regional Interoperability
Communications Committee serve in this role.

The consultant selected for the Plan’s development, RCC Consultants, Inc, met twice-
January 10 and February 17, 2006- with the Governance Committee to determine the
Committee’s direction and to receive Committee input. The North Central Texas Council
of Governments (NCTCOG) coordinated development of the plan with assistance from
the Governance Committee, RCC, and the Interoperable Communications Technical
Assistance Program (IC/TAP). A meeting with the Governance Committee officers was
held on March 24, during which they, Council of Governments staff, and the Office of
Grants and Training Interoperable Communications Technical Assistance Program Staff,
reviewed, page by page, the draft document. New suggestions and edits were
incorporated before the semi-final draft was available for the Committee and the State
Administrative Agency of Homeland Security, March 31. The Governance Committee
provided their final comments and approval recommendation during the period March 31
to April 17, at which time RCC Consultants prepared the final document.

With the Governance Committee’s recommendation, and approval from NCTCOG’s
Executive Board, the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington UASI Tactical Interoperable
Communications Plan was sent to the State Administrative Agency (SAA) May 1, 2006.
Upon submittal by the SAA to the Office of Grants and Training, the OGT will provide
copies of the Plan to the Peer Review Panel for evaluation.

Full Scale Exercise

The final test of the TIC Plan will be to conduct a full scale exercise (FSE). The exercise
is required to test the plan in its entirety to determine weaknesses, strengths, flaws, and to
determine its overall effectiveness in a real world setting. The exercise planned for this
region will test the interoperable communications abilities of several local, state and
federal agencies. In addition, it will test equipment capabilities and procedures for large-
scale operations for the purpose of improving the Plan’s effectiveness. The Office of
Domestic Preparedness’s Grants and Training will use the exercise to validate the plan.

Initially, this exercise was to have been conducted within one year from the submission
deadline, May 1, 2006. On March 23, 2006, the Office of Grants and Training notified
all states that the timelines had been advanced. According to Office of Grants and
Training’s Information Bulletin, Number 205, March 23, 2006:

       In continuing recognition of the immediate and critical need to increase interoperable
       communications capabilities throughout the country, the deadline for validating the TICP
       through an FSE (previously established in the Fiscal Year [FY] 2005 Homeland Security
       Grant Program Guidance) has been accelerated. FSEs must be conducted by September
       30, 2006.

       This adjusted timeline for FSEs will ensure that sufficient time is allocated to complete
       the After Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) process. The validation process,
       including the final AAR/IP, must be completed by December 31, 2006.

The exercise will be monitored by an Office of Grants and Training assessment team.


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