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NOS and OR&R Exercise Devolution Protocols as Part of the 2019 National Level Exercise

MAY 6, 2019 — On May 1, NOAA participated in the 2019 National Level Exercise, also known as Eagle Horizon. This year's exercise focused on devolution, or the agency's ability to transfer statutory authority and responsibility for essential functions from leadership and headquartered facilities to predetermined delegates in a remote facility, and to sustain that operational capability until leadership can safely and effectively resume authority and responsibility.

A woman looking at a map on a computer sitting across from a group of people at another table.

The scenario simulated a cyber attack that impacted National Capital Region systems. For this exercise, NOS exercised procedures for its new devolution site, the ERD Seattle War Room led by Mark Dix, and its ability to transfer information regarding NOS personnel, mission, and infrastructure to the NOAA devolution site in Asheville, North Carolina. The determination that the NOS devolution site would move to Seattle from Charleston, South Carolina was made in late 2018, so this was the first exercise of this role for OR&R. As expected during any exercises, important lessons were learned regarding clarity of roles, communication, and training needs.

The Disaster Preparedness Program will lead a thorough hotwash and institute implement necessary improvements to ensure NOS devolution plans continue to effectively perform continuity of operations during disasters.

For further information, contact Kate.Wheelock@noaa.gov.

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