The Department of Defense announced today near-term actions to address gaps and deficiencies in personnel policies, force protection measures, emergency response, mass casualty preparedness and support to DoD healthcare providers identified by the DoD Independent Review panel.
The actions follow-up on 26 of the 79 recommendations made by the panel chaired by former Army secretary Togo D. West, Jr., and retired Adm. Vern Clark, the former chief of naval operations, in the wake of the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009. DoD’s follow-on review, which is headed by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense & Americas’ Security Affairs Paul Stockton, will recommend to Secretary Robert M. Gates what actions should be taken on the remaining 53 recommendations in June.
Among the actions to be taken in the near-term are:
(1) Expand the pilot program to fully deploy eGuardian as the DoD-wide force protection threat reporting system to handle suspicious incident activities. The eGuardian system, which is FBI-owned and maintained, will safeguard civil liberties, while enabling information sharing among Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, including interagency fusion centers.
(2) Complete the deployment of the Law Enforcement Defense Data Exchange system (D-DEx) allowing all DoD law enforcement agencies to share criminal investigation as well as other law enforcement data as appropriate. D-DEx will be a consolidated database to enable organizations across the Department to query, retrieve, and post criminal investigation and law enforcement data in a single repository.
(3) Establish the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs as the DoD lead for the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force program.
(4) Strengthen DoD’s antiterrorism training program by incorporating lessons learned from the Fort Hood incident, Department of Homeland Security best practices on workplace violence, and civilian law enforcement active shooter awareness training.