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Principal Directorates of Department of Homeland Security
Border and Transportation Security
The largest component of the Department of Homeland Security is the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security (BTS). This division is responsible for maintaining the security of the nation's borders and transportation systems. BTS employees about 58% of DHS's total employees, has nearly half of its operating budget, and includes what was formerly TSA, Customs, the border security functions of INS, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and FLETC. Just like the other directorates of DHS, it is managed by an undersecretary of homeland security (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2012).
This department brought together several agencies from such departments as the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Agriculture. The mission of this directorate is to secure the borders and transportation systems of the United States and to enforce immigration laws. This directorate is made up of four main agencies: the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (Border and Transportation Security, 2010).
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Second in size is the Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR), which includes FEMA and a number of smaller agencies. EPR is charged with making sure that the nation is prepared for and able to recover from both terrorist attacks and natural disasters (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2012).
The Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate oversees domestic disaster preparedness training and coordinates government disaster response. It brings together:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Strategic National Stockpile and the National Disaster Medical System, Nuclear Incident Response Team (Energy), Domestic Emergency Support Teams (Justice) and the National Domestic Preparedness Office (FBI) (Department of Homeland Security, 2012).
Science and Technology
The Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) is DHS's principal research and development arm. Among the areas of focus for S&T is the range of technology needed to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats involving weapons of mass destruction (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2012). The S&T Directorate's mission is to strengthen America's security and resiliency by providing knowledge products and innovative technology solutions for the Homeland Security Enterprise. The Directorate is comprised of four groups that address basic research through advanced technology development and transition - spanning six primary divisions that address critical homeland security needs. The Directorate captures the technical requirements of Department components through the Capstone Integrated Product Team (IPT) process (About the Science and Technology Directorate, 2011).
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) is the directorate concerned with the nation's critical infrastructure, particularly the computer systems that serve as the brain center for a modern industrialized superpower. IAIP brings together a number of specialists capable of identifying and assessing current and future threats to the homeland (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2012).
The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate looks at intelligence and information from other agencies (including the CIA, FBI, DIA and NSA) involving threats to homeland security and evaluate vulnerabilities in the nation's infrastructure. It will brings together: Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (Commerce)
Federal Computer Incident Response Center (GSA, National Communications System (Defense), National Infrastructure Protection Center (FBI) and the Energy Security and Assurance Program (Energy) (Department of Homeland Security, 2012).
Finally, the smallest and least visible directorate is Management, which is concerned with DHS internal affairs, including budget and personnel issues (United States Department of Homeland Security, 2012). The Directorate for Management is responsible for:
budget, appropriations, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance;
procurement; human resources and personnel;
information technology systems;
facilities, property, equipment, and other material resources identification and tracking of performance measurements relating to the responsibilities of the Department (About the Directorate for Management, 2011).
Key to the success of the Department in bolstering national security is the success of its workforce. The Directorate for Management ensures that the Department's over 230,000 employees have well-defined responsibilities and managers and their employees have effective means of communicating with one another, with other governmental and nongovernmental bodies, and with the public they serve (About the Directorate for Management, 2011).
The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) that used to be in place. The new system is set up to more successfully communicate information about terrorist threats by offering…[continue]
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