Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Lessons" from Fort Hood

NOPE's business case analyst Fulton Wilcox points us toward an independent study (released Friday by the Department of Defense) of the "lessons learned" from the Fort Hood, TX massacre called Protecting the Force.

Here we've attached Fulton's recap of the report, as it relates to NOPE's objections to proposed unimpeded civilian housing and access at NWS Earle, but the crux of Fulton's analysis is that if we were to overlay the Laurelwood scenario to this report, many of the gaps and "to-do" lists in the Fort Hood study not only apply to Earle, but will be further complicated by the presence of a small civilian town on the base.
It estimated the elapsed time from the first notice to first responders to the disabling of the perpetrator as taking about just under 5 minutes, which is very good response, but enough time for the shooter to kill 13 people and wound many more. Although Secretary of Defense Gates charged the study team with looking at “simultaneous” attacks that matter apparently had to do with separate multiple installations rather than the implications if the Fort Hood shooter had been a team rather than a lone individual.

The report stated that “DoD mandates 100% credential inspection for access to DoD CONUS [Continental United States] installations” (pg.34). It is a significant question as to whether the Laurelwood chain link fence justifies an exception. The study group expressed concern that there was no one “in charge” and suggested that DoD designate a senior DoD person to make policy decisions on such force protection matters (pg. 26).

The report touches on a variety of subjects regarding behavioral signals, but left for future study matters such as how DoD detects incipient dangerous behavior in non-affiliated civilians. It also touches on information sharing and policy – e.g., regarding vehicle registrations, private firearms handling, etc., but again not specifically with respect to entirely non-affiliated civilian residents and visitors.

On of the relevant findings (Finding 4.1) was that DoD’s emergency services are not interoperable across military and local civilian organization. Finding 4.2 was that DoD’s implementation of internal 911 is laggard. Many 911 calls went into the County system, and then had to be relayed back to Fort Hood.
New York-based Epoch Times also gives a well-considered recap of the Fort Hood report.

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