Thursday, July 16, 2009

In an Underground Location...

Under heavy security cover, we arrived to the Emergency Operations Center for the State of Virginia in Richmond. The iron gates were slammed shut behind our bus and one could feel the security cameras monitoring our every move. We had finally arrived at the secretive command control center!

A number of professional yet austere staff allowed us to enter the 24/7 compound and through what seemed to be a maze of cryptic hallways we arrived at the Virginia Fusion Center.

While this place is not involved in nuclear research, it is the core of Virginia's intelligence division with its access and use of VIPER - advanced, real-time, multi-dimension mapping that allows staff to view any part of the country and track any emergency. The VIPER was on full diplay and we were able to see it be used - we saw in real time a number of local emergencies throughout Virginia and also witnessed how the VIPER offers logistic solutions for each scenario. We were speechless. The power of this piece of technology is truly amazing.

We were able to tour this compound and the versatile and heavily equipped mobile command units- these are like rolling B-52 bombers with global communications capabilities and all the generators and gizmos one could ever want.

As usual, there is much more that I could write about. More to come later...

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