NEWS

Joint Task Force Homeland Defense
Civilian Earns Prestigioius Honor

By JTF-HD Public Affairs


Fort Shafter, HAWAII – Ms. Marie Kennedy, Geospatial lnformation Systems Specialist (GIS) for Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), was recognized recently as a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Unsung Hero Civilian of 2011. "Marie is simply outstanding," said JTF-HD J-2, Mr. Pete Hoskam, Ms. Kennedy's immediate supervisor. "She's one of our superstars and is an emerging leader in the field of geospatial intelligence," Hoskam said.

"I'm very thankful to receive this honor," Kennedy said. "There are many deserving civilians on this staff. It is appreciated that our hard work and dedication are recognized," Kennedy added.

Ms. Kennedy, rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the USARPAC staff's brightest leaders, has initiated a revolution in information management and operational area visualization resulting in the development of a sophisticated GIS system in support of U.S. Pacific Command's (USPACOM) Department of Defense (DOD) support to the National Special Security Event (NSSE) during the November 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Honolulu. "She's extremely technically competent," said Hoskam. "She is a pleasure to have in the work space because she has so much energetic inititiative and an unwavering work ethic," Hoskam added.

 
(Left) Ms. Marie Kennedy, Geospatial lnformation Systems Specialist (GIS) for Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), was recently recognized as a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Unsung Hero Civilian of 2011. (Official Department of Defense photo by Darrell D. Ames) (Right) Ms. Marie Kennedy, Geospatial lnformation Systems Specialist (GIS) for Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), receives a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Unsung Hero Civilian of 2011 award from USARPAC Commanding General Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski. (Official Department of Defense photo)

To effectively respond to a crisis, the Commander, JTF-HD, needs specific information, easily understood and displayed in an operationally relevant context. Ms. Kennedy developed the Homeland Defense Common Operating Picture (HD-COP) to enable full view of the battlefield across the spectrum of JTF-HD mission sets within the Joint Operations Area (JOA).

Immediately upon her August 2009 assignment to JTF-HD, Ms. Kennedy methodically identified HD-COP requirements, researching and critically assessing various technical solutions. She methodically worked through numerous technical and policy challenges to develop a low-cost, dynamic solution using a well-known, commercially available platform. By using the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's program LongView enabling a DOD version of Google Earth Enterprise (GEE) as the foundation for the HD-COP, Ms. Kennedy effectively weighed ease of operation, flexibility, and IT interoperability to meet JTF-HD's unique requirements. "Her technical and intellectual strength is equally matched by her ability to build and lead a collaborative multi•agency team," said Hoskam. "She truly epitomizes all the best qualities of the civilian workforce at USARPAC. She lives and leads the ‘One Team' mantra as a US Army civilian leader of the future," Hoskam added.

During APEC, Ms. Kennedy closely collaborated with U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Department of Homeland Security, and City and County of Honolulu to incorporate near real-time data feeds into JTF-HD's COP. When both the USPACOM Commander and USARPAC Ccommanding General (CG) identified the priority requirement for a Geospatial COP to support APEC, Ms. Kennedy's JTF-HD Google Earth Enterprise COP was immediately and universally identified as the right tool for the job.

Through several APEC training events, to include two Senior Leader Tabletop exercises, Lightning Rescue and preparations for Task Force Kupa'a (TF-Kupa'a) Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) drill, her work on the APEC COP grew exponentially in senior level visibility and importance. Her tireless attention to detail, matched with her wide-ranging intellectual insight, was identified by both Brig. Gen. Gary Hara, Commander of TF-Kupa'a, and Maj. Gen. Joseph Chaves, USARPAC Deputy Commanding General, as essential for DOD situational understanding during APEC. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) leveraged JTF-HD's DOD Geospatial COP as an information source in the APEC Multi-Agency Coordination Cell.

Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) maintains situational awareness of all domains within the JTF-HD Joint Operations Area; executes mission command of assigned forces in the land domain to conduct Homeland Defense operations to deter and defeat threats to critical infrastructure and key resources and when requested/validated, conducts Civil Support operations in response to all hazards to mitigate human suffering and reduce infrastructure damage.