January 4, 2007
Purdue is leading $1.65 million research effort at Muscatatuck urban training facilityWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue University is leading a $1.65 million effort to begin research and development at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana as part of a homeland-security training initiative, officials announced today (Thursday, Jan. 4).
The Purdue Homeland Security Institute is working with the Indiana National Guard, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Police and U.S. Army for developing the training program at Muscatatuck, a 1,000-acre, 70-building facility about 60 miles southeast of Indianapolis.
"This program, through initial funding by the U.S. Army, will focus on preparing our nation to better respond to a major natural disaster or the threats posed in an urban warfare environment," Purdue President Martin C. Jischke said.
Under terms of the U.S. Army contract, Purdue will develop a program for military and first responders, providing the nexus for decision making, the use of computational models, advanced technology, risk communications, situational awareness and command.
A command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system will be developed that will allow small-unit exercises to be tracked and recorded for evaluation purposes.
The system will incorporate advanced technologies in wireless systems, sensors, communications and visual analytics to help military and non-Department of Defense responders improve tactics and techniques.
"This program will help our nation's soldiers and first responders look for innovative ways to combat terrorism and the growing challenges they face in responding to catastrophic incidents or events," said Eric Dietz, executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which combines the state's emergency management and homeland security efforts.
"This facility offers the ideal land, space and facilities for conducting research and development exercises in an urban environment," he said. "Nine miles of road network, a tunnel that connects 80 percent of the buildings and a 180-acre reservoir combine to offer unique training opportunities necessary for contemporary response to a variety of homeland security threat scenarios all at one location."
Purdue's Regional Visualization and Analytics Center and the Cyber Center, both a part of Discovery Park, are lending technical support to the project.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act in June 2005 that included $2.5 million for the center at Muscatatuck. That measure was led by former U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel, R-Ind., who said this center is a significant first step in what will be a prolonged effort to build a permanent military institution at this Indiana site.
"The national defense of our country is a top priority of the federal government," Sodrel said. "This facility will help further the vital defense training our National Guard needs so it can be prepared in the face of any catastrophic event. Additionally, it will help bolster the training of the state's emergency responders."
Before it was closed in late 2003, the Muscatatuck State Developmental Center had housed more than 2,000 developmentally disabled residents. The facility, which is located in Jennings County near Butlerville, Ind., was transferred in September 2004 to the Indiana National Guard to be used for training homeland defense and security professionals.
Since then, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Indiana National Guard and other local agencies, has completed two full-scale training exercises, known as Military Support to Civil Authorities, as well as several statewide public safety training events there.
The facility also has been used frequently for training by local public safety and response organizations throughout Indiana, particularly law enforcement tactical, or SWAT, teams.
The Purdue Homeland Security Institute has four research units: Center for Computational Homeland Security; Center for Sensing Science and Technology; Center for Security of Large Scale Systems; and the Center for Military and Law Enforcement Technology, Tactics and Training.
The Homeland Security Institute, Regional Visualization and Analytics Center and Cyber Center are based at Discovery Park, a $330 million hub for interdisciplinary research on campus. Purdue's Discovery Park is home to 10 established research centers focusing on a wide range of complex challenges from life sciences and advanced manufacturing to nanotechnology and health-care engineering.
The Purdue Regional Visualization and Analytics Center, led by David Ebert, is developing tools for analyzing information that could warn officials of a terrorist attack and assist emergency responders. PURVAC, which is funded by a $750,000 contract from the Department of Homeland Security and $387,000 from Purdue, is equipping a team of Purdue and Indiana University School of Medicine researchers to create tools to analyze vast amounts of information involving intelligence, emergency planning and health-care monitoring.
ARINC, a world leader in transportation communications and systems engineering, develops and operates communications and information processing systems. It provides systems engineering and integration solutions to five key industries: airports, aviation, defense, government and surface transportation. ARINC employs 3,000 worldwide and also has offices in London and Singapore.
Writer: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708
Eric Dietz, (317) 232-6139, email@example.com
Alok Chaturvedi, (765) 494-9048, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Sodrel, (202) 215-5656
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; email@example.comRelated information:
Indiana National Guard, Purdue sign agreement for Muscatatuck
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