Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 23, 2005

A national homeland security academy?

Filed under: Organizational Issues,Preparedness and Response,State and Local HLS — by Christian Beckner on December 23, 2005

According to FCW, Sen. Collins and Sen. Lieberman have introduced a bill to create a new National Homeland Security Academy:

“It was clear to me as I was working to create a Department of Homeland Security that we would need to find a way to make sure department professionals, as well as the state and local officials with whom they work, understand the full scope and range of responsibilities entrusted to the department, not just the details of their own particular jobs,” Lieberman said in a news release.

The academy would train leaders and provide cross-disciplinary education to government officials at all levels “so that they can develop the bonds and relationships that will make their work more efficient and effective,” Lieberman said.

According to the release, the academy would be modeled on the Defense Department’s war colleges. Its purpose would be to ensure that DHS’ new and midlevel executive employees and other federal, state and local officials understand DHS’ mission and undergo hands-on training and simulation exercises….

This would be a common-sense element of a long-term strategy to build up human capital on homeland security. The Academy’s scope needs to be defined, however, in a way that is clearly different than the war colleges, given the diffuse nature of homeland security.

For example, given the private sector’s key role in homeland security and infrastructure protection, it seems like chief security officers or related private sector execs should be able to attend a program like this, if their companies are willing to foot the bill.

And the scope of training needs to be explicitly broad: not just focused on response to attacks, but also having strong programs on prevention-related activities, and courses that focus on the challenge of designing homeland security in a way that is integrated with other national interests, such as privacy rights and the efficient movement of commerce.

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3 Comments »

26

Comment by Brandon Walker

December 26, 2005 @ 12:02 am

This is a great idea about a National Homeland Security Academy which Sen. Collins and Sen. Lieberman have introduced as a Bill.

The Homeland Security University project has been in the planning stages for the last four years post 9/11. We are in the process of procuring our first of 60 campus sites in the first quarter of 2006 within driving distance of Washington, DC. A purchase offer has already been made on the property. Another ten campus locations are scheduled to open towards the end of 2006 or early 2007. Because of security concerns, exact locations will not be disclosed until each site is about to accept students.

The Homeland Security University project has utilized current and recently retired conterterrorism and topic specific experts to designed and develop our homeland security courses.

Unlike the many other homeland security programs which have cropped up post 9/11, our courses and programs are not just mildly modified criminal justice or military science programs. While others are presently dabbling in homeland security in addition to their other course offerings, we specialize in it.

The same old disaster emergency response courses taught at state training academies are no longer enough with today’s terrorism threat. Our first responders and city managers need the proper training and education in preventing the next terror attack, not merely responding to it, after it happens.

The Homeland Security University project is presently offering several different seminars across the country with 20 or more attendees in Homeland Security, NIMS and the Prevention of Workplace Violence.

We anticipate having our Certificate in Homeland Security and Diploma in Homeland Security programs available on campus and online in 2006.

27

Comment by Brian

December 26, 2005 @ 7:27 pm

While I agree that there is definitely a need for this, I have some reservations. Any course that designed should be built around the same process of the armed forces advanced officer training, such as the Army’s Command and Staff Generals Course for middle managers and the Army War College for senior level officers. Nevertheless, my reservation surfaces because DHS does not yet have a clear mission or authority. Is the Department for “homeland security” or disaster response? Being a higher headquarters for FEMA and defending critical infrastructure are two divergent missions and until one becomes the main mission, having an academy will be nothing more than a the same old independent study courses offered by FEMA. However, with a clear role and the authority, which should be similar to DOD, DHS would have the need to create a professional campus style institute that will not only train DHS leaders to respond but also develop new policy for emerging threats.

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Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Blog Archive » Lieberman-Collins homeland security academy bill now online

January 12, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

[…] On Dec. 23rd I wrote a post about a new bill dropped by Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Collins, the National Homeland Security Academy Act of 2005. The full text of the bill is now available here on the GPO website. […]

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