On December 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a Functional Exercise at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, DC, to test a Unified Coordination Structure (UCS) concept recently established under its Department-wide emergency management enterprise. The exercise scope involved personnel from multiple program offices implementing headquarters-level coordination for a large-scale disaster impacting multiple DOE missions and facilities. Participants included the Deputy Secretary of Energy and other senior executives providing strategic direction, office directors from a wide range of programs serving as a DOE Unified Coordination Group (UCG), and Command and General Staff personnel managing information and resources in the Department’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
The Department of Energy, with a broad area of responsibility, has diverse emergency response and incident management mission areas, including energy infrastructure and restoration; and nuclear and radiological incident response and counterterrorism. Additionally, DOE has an increasing role in the U.S. Government’s cybersecurity program and maintains a wide network of facilities, sites, and laboratories, each with an emergency management responsibility. It is these diverse responsibilities and mission areas that have driven DOE to create a unified emergency management program to synchronize and coordinate emergency management functions.
This exercise was part of a broader effort within DOE’s emergency management enterprise to provide planning, training, and exercises that ensure the DOE’s ability to implement strategic coordination in a consolidated fashion across the department’s diverse mission areas during a large-scale disaster or special event. Along with our partners at Project Enhancement Corporation (PEC) and Mele Associates, EMSI personnel served in key roles in this effort. Prior to the exercise, EMSI planners and subject matter experts served as the principal authors for DOE’s revised UCS Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), while EMSI cadre delivered Incident Command System (ICS) and EOC operations courses to DOE personnel. Throughout the exercise, EMSI emergency management specialists and exercise planners served as the Lead Planner, Lead Controller, Simulation Cell Manager, Lead Evaluator, and other controller and evaluator functions.