The Department of Homeland Security held the First Responder Electronic Jamming Exercise at the White Sand Missile Range in New Mexico in an effort to combat electronic jamming of first responders’ radio communications systems.
DHS said Wednesday its agency’s science and technology directorate sought to prevent communication interference through the use of jamming prevention, detection and mitigation technologies through the exercise.
First responders from more than 40 federal, state and local agencies participated in emergency response scenarios with deliberately-jammed communication systems.
DHS was able to gather data from the exercise that identified systems vulnerable to signal interference, efficiency of the systems’ defenses and the impact of jammed communications on mission response.
“Often, this illegal jamming is used to mask illicit activities, such as drug and weapons smuggling and human trafficking,” said Reginald Brothers, S&T under secretary.
“Electronic jammers pose a serious threat to our responders, their missions, our communities and our borders, and DHS S&T continues to work diligently to mitigate this threat,” he added.
Participants included first responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.