Increasing Cross-Agency Collaboration

Here’s an article on how DHS is using ATAK to enhance cross-agency collaboration.  It discusses recent hurricane uses and Texas border collaborations.

Here’s the complete article:

ATAK (Android Team Awareness Kit). Source: Dept. of Homeland Security Science & Technology DirectorateWhen Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) deployed the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) to support the complex communication and coordination needs of the multi-jurisdictional responders.

ATAK is a government-off-the-shelf app for Android smartphones. (Windows and iPhone versions are currently in development.)

ATAK enables collaboration of multiple responders and agencies on joint missions by resolving the communication problems inherent in using different equipment, radio frequencies or encryption. With ATAK, operators can immediately and securely communicate and share information that is easy to see, without having to speak to one another.

Most of the operators provided with ATAK in Texas had never used it before. Still, the ease of use, situational awareness, cross-agency communication and coordination capabilities of ATAK allowed multiple organizations to coordinate rescues, respond to criminal activity, identify infrastructure breeches and establish perimeters in danger zones, in addition to other collaborative activities.

The success of ATAK in Texas led to its use in Florida following Hurricane Irma and in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Learn more about ATAK and watch a video here.

Note: the person markers appear to be added, and are not actual ATAK Augmented Reality icons, based on the linked video.

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