Mission Focus – Defense Support to Civil Authorities

June 23, 1–3:30 pm ET


During times of crisis, the Defense Department can be called upon to support U.S. civil authorities. In those cases, a lead federal agency works alongside state, local, territorial, or tribal organizations as responses to natural or human-made emergencies or disasters evolve. In such situations, the key features of GIS’s are critical enablers, allowing for integration of disparate datasets, the conduct of analysis, and dissemination of authoritative information to deliver situational awareness to commanders on the ground. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NORTHCOM leveraged GIS to track its staff and their operational readiness and was also called upon to support various state and local agencies in responding to localized Covid-19 outbreaks. Other federal agencies, such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, the National Guard, and the Civil Air Patrol were also tasked to support state and local jurisdictions as well. We invite you to learn about NORTHCOM’s experiences and to hear from other DoD elements on a panel discussing lessons learned from recent experiences working alongside civil authorities in emergency and disaster responses, and to hear their plans for the future of this integrative technology.




1:00–1:05PM  | Welcome Remarks: Ronda Schrenk, CEO, USGIF

1:05–1:50PM  |  Keynote Speaker: Mr. J.R. Rizzo, Cyber Plans Division Chief, J6, USNORTHCOM

1:50–2:00PM  |  Lightning Talk: Ryan Lanclos, Director, Esri Public Safety Solutions and Disaster Response Program

2:00–2:20PM  | Lightning Talk: Christy Jacobs, GIS Program Manager, South Carolina Army National Guard

2:20–2:30PM  | Engagement Break

2:30–2:40PM  | Lightning Talk: Lorraine Funkhouser, Lead, ArcGIS Solutions for Defense, Esri Resource Management Solutions

2:40–3:25PM  | Panel– Defense Support to Civil Authorities

A panel of experts from the Defense Department and civilian authorities will discuss lessons learned from recent experiences working alongside each other in emergency and disaster responses. Panelists will address recent improvements in geospatial interoperability and information sharing, their perspectives on challenges that remain when working alongside each other, particularly related to ensuring a “common operational picture,” and how they envision the future of integrative geographic information systems technology.

Moderator: Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg, President, INSA


      • MG Brad Owens, USA, Assistant Adjutant General, SC National Guard
      • Capt. Scott Kaplan, National Program Manager for Civil Air Patrol Geospatial Program
      • Greg Dreaper, uCOP Technical Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers
      • Sean Triplett, Tools & Technology Team Lead, US Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management, National Interagency Fire Center

3:25–3:30PM  | Closing Remarks: Patty Mims, Director, Global National Government, Esri and Ronda Schrenk, CEO, USGIF

Speakers Include