Purdue University to create Homeland security training center
Purdue University is leading a $1.65 million effort to convert the National Guard’s Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana into a Homeland security training center.
The Purdue Homeland Security Institute is working with the Indiana National Guard, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Police and U.S. Army to develop 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 says.
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.
Alok Chaturvedi, director of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute, says the Muscatatuck site permits trainers to replicate a small town, complete with 70 furnished buildings comprising five square city blocks. Among the buildings are a hospital, apartments, housing, a school, administration buildings, a power plant and a water treatment facility.
“This facility offers the ideal land, space and facilities for conducting research and development exercises in an urban environment,” he says. “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.”