The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and NATO conducted the final exercise under a partnership to test a modern first responder communications platform.
The DHS-NATO Advanced Regional Civil Emergency Coordination Project commenced in 2016 to demonstrate and further develop the Next-Generation Incident Command System.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory used S&T funds to develop NICS, which has helped first responders share information via mobile devices over the past four years. NICS has supported first responders in the Western Balkans throughout this period.
North Macedonian authorities, the Balkan Medical Task Force and various international partners also took part in the recent exercise, whose schedule was moved from 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Beacon NGO, a Delaware-based organization, will internationally distribute NICS as an open-source code to first responders.