Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

WIN 2016-2017

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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HILL PERSPECTIVE and drug use have a major impact on the United States. In 2014, there were an estimated 27 million illicit drug users in the United States. According to DEA's 2015 Drug Threat Assessment, drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States. As noted above, the CARA – which became law in July 2016 with my support – equips local law enforcement, health care stakeholders, and other community organizations with the tools they need to engage in the battle against drug abuse. In addition to securing our border and addressing the demand for drugs in our country with legislation such as CARA, I have also worked to prevent drug trafficking by nontraditional means. In September 2016, I joined 9 of my fellow Senators in writing to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the problems of dangerous synthetic drugs entering the United States due to weaknesses in international mail security standards. HSGAC has held a number of hearings to help define and identify best practices for countering violent extremism ("CVE"). Based on what we have learned, members of the Committee have authored and advanced legislation to do just that. Such legislation includes a bill passed unanimously out of Committee that authorized a new office within the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to CVE. Moreover, in February 2016, I joined Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in introducing the Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2016. This bipartisan legislation would require the Administration to report on terrorists' use of social media and prepare a comprehensive strategy to counter it. Unfortunately, in October 2016, the Obama Administration released an updated CVE implementation plan that continued its failure to date to develop a comprehensive strategy to counter terrorists' use of social media to spread violent extremism. S&BP: Do you see chances for greater cooperation in the future among first responders from different regions of the country? Sen. Ernst: It is important that first responders around the country have the appropriate tools for communicating with one another when emergencies occur. As a start, last year Congress passed and the President signed into law the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a strategy to achieve interoperable communications capabilities throughout DHS. We will continue to look for opportunities to assist state and local first responders in improving cooperation and communication in a way that appropriately accounts for the unique challenges and circumstances faced by first responders around the country. S&BP: How have your own experiences in the military informed your decisions and experiences on the committee? Sen. Ernst: For two decades, I proudly wore our nation's uniform in the Army Reserves and Iowa Army National Guard, and I am now proud to serve the people of Iowa in the United States Senate. In these roles, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Today, in my position as a member of HSGAC and the Senate Armed Services Committee, I make sure to do everything I can to ensure that those who defend the Constitution with their blood, sweat, and tears are properly supported and provided with the tools they need to preserve our values and protect our way of life. U.S. Senator Joni Ernst with 11th Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Army General Raymond A. Thomas III. January 23rd - 25th, 2017 | Washington, D.C. w w w . O p e r a t i o n a l E n e r g y S u m m i t . c o m ACTIVE MILITARY & GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES REGISTER AT NO COST Enabling Global Power Projection: Operational Energy Summit Strategies to Provide Robust, Flexible Energy Solutions for the Future Force SPEAKERS ENERGIZINGTHE CONVERSATION Mr. Jack Surash Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability) ASA IE&E Mr. James Caley Director for Operational Energy DASN Energy Colonel Brian Magnuson Director, Expeditionary Energy Office (E2O) USMC Ryan Umstattd, PhD Senior Commercialization Advisor, ARPA-E U.S. Department of Energy Ashok Kumar, PhD Senior S&T Manager U.S. Army ERDC Prof. Stephen B. Bayne Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Texas Tech University 22 | S&BP AND CST & CBRNE | Winter 2016/2017

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