Tuesday, June 30, 2020

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2020 Preparedness Grants

WASHINGTON— As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf today announced final allocations of $385 million for seven Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 DHS competitive preparedness grant programs. These allocations, together with the more than $1.3 billion in non-competitive grant funding announced by DHS in February and April, total nearly $1.8 billion in FY 2020 granted to assist states, local areas, tribal and territorial governments, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector with their preparedness efforts.


“The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have led the way in modernizing our preparedness capabilities throughout our nation,” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “Through initiatives like these, we are equipping our state and local partners to protect their communities and keep their residents safe. Never has this been more critical than in today’s environment. As a Department, we look forward to seeing the new initiatives, protocols and resources that will be implemented and bolster security as a direct result of these programs.”


“Last year my Homeland Security Advisory Council presented me with several recommendations to prevent targeted violence against faith-based communities.  The Council worked closely with these communities to better understand their needs and how DHS can develop a more agile, scalable framework to inform, train and resource faith communities that are impacted by threats of targeted violence,” said Acting Secretary Wolf.  “These grants are another example of DHS’ commitment to following their recommendations for added resources.”


Since 2002, DHS has awarded nearly $54 billion to these partners. Preparedness grants strengthen our nation’s ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies in support of the National Preparedness Goal and the National Preparedness System. 


The FY 2020 grant awards will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats. Consistent with previous grant guidance, dedicated funding is provided for law enforcement and terrorism prevention activities throughout the country to prepare for, prevent and respond to terrorism-related activity.


The Department is committed to working with the faith-based and non-profit communities. By awarding $90 million toward improving security at these venues, resources are being made available to provide preparedness and resilience to their organizations and houses of worship.  


DHS identified four critical priority areas for attention in the FY 2020 grant cycle: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, intelligence and information sharing, and emerging threats. Applicants were required to submit Investment Justifications that address these priorities. In addition, DHS conducted an effectiveness review process to ensure grant funding is allocated to those projects the most effectively address these priorities.


The FY2020 grant guidance continues to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas and national priorities. Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will be required to dedicate a minimum of 20 percent of awards to address four priority areas: cybersecurity (5 percent); soft target and crowded places (5 percent); information and intelligence sharing (5 percent); and emerging threats (5 percent).


As with previous years, new capabilities that are built using homeland security grant funding must be deployable if needed to support regional and national efforts. All capabilities being built or sustained must have a clear linkage to the core capabilities articulated in the National Preparedness Goal.


Preparedness Grant Program Allocations for Fiscal Year 2020:


Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG)—provides $355.1 million to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities.


Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP)—provides more than $1 billion for states and urban areas to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other threats.

  • State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)—provides $415 million to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based State Homeland Security Strategies to address capability targets. States are required to dedicate 25 percent of SHSP funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
  • Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)—provides $615 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 32 high-threat, high-density areas. States and Urban Areas are required to dedicate 25 percent of UASI funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
  • Operation Stonegarden (OPSG)—provides $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

Since the enactment of the 9/11 Act, FEMA has required states to ensure that at least 25 percent of the total funds awarded to them under SHSP and UASI are dedicated toward law enforcement terrorism prevention activities (LETPA). The total LETPA allocation can be satisfied from SHSP, UASI or both. In addition, states must obligate at least 80 percent of the funds awarded under SHSP and UASI to local or tribal units of government within 45 days of receipt of the funds.


Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP)—provides $15 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.


Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)—provides $90 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. This year, $50 million is provided to nonprofits in UASI-designated urban areas, and $40 million is provided to nonprofits located in any state or territory.


Intercity Passenger Rail - Amtrak (IPR) Program—provides $10 million to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system.


Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)—provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or reestablish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.


Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP)—provides $88 million to owners and operators of transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.


Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP)—provides $2 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure. 


Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available at www.dhs.gov and http://www.fema.gov/grants.


FEMA's mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters.


Follow FEMA online at http://blog.fema.gov, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema,and www.youtube.com/fema. The social media links provided are for reference only.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Statement by Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs on Intelligence That Russian GRU Operatives Were Engaged in Malign Activity Against the U.S. and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan

June 29, 2020

DOD Statement attributable to Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman:

"The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports. Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan — and around the world — most seriously and therefore continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats."

Weekly Update: DHS Response to COVID-19

The Department of Homeland Security and its dedicated workforce across more than a dozen offices and components have been working diligently with the White House to execute an unprecedented, whole-of America response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter a new phase to reopen the American Economy, DHS is taking decisive actions to accelerate our national economic recovery to ensure that the job market remains open, viable, and accessible for U.S. citizens.


“Since early in the pandemic, under the leadership of President Trump, DHS took aggressive and proactive measures allowing the U.S. to stay ahead of the outbreak.” said Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. “As we reopen our economy, President Trump is leading the comeback to revitalize our economy and create opportunity for all Americans. DHS remains committed to ensuring Americans are able to regain their jobs and livelihoods - economic security is critical to homeland security.”


Below is a list of some of DHS’s efforts against COVID-19 last week:


Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD)

Enhanced Screenings at Airports. CWMD contract personnel are continuing to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with enhanced screenings for travelers through 15 specially designated airports. As of June 27, CWMD has processed more than 381,690 travelers for enhanced screening, including 1,543 who were referred to CDC for further medical evaluation.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Delivering Cloth Facial Coverings to Keep Critical Infrastructure Workers Safe. As of June 27th, FEMA, HHS and the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) along with other federal agencies have processed and distributed over 346 million cloth face coverings for critical infrastructure workers. Many of our infrastructure sectors must have access to facial coverings in order to protect their workers and to ensure critical services continue throughout our communities. The federal delivery of facial coverings is being made in a phased approach for infrastructure workers, first responders, and food producers who do not need medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for their daily work. 


Expediting Movement of Critical Personal Protective Equipment. FEMA continues to expedite the movement of commercially pre-sourced and commercially procured critical supplies from the global market to medical distributors in various locations across the U.S. As of June 28, Project Airbridge has completed 245 flights with an additional 4 scheduled, or in transit, for a total of approximately 249 flights. Since April 12, 53 non-Airbridge flights carrying over 69.8 million FEMA-procured masks and respirators from 3M have landed in the U.S. Additionally, 95 non-Airbridge flights carrying over 16.2 million gowns from Hanes have landed in the U.S. for distribution across the country.


Supporting Administration’s COVID-19 Testing Strategy. To support the Administration’s Testing Blueprint, FEMA continues to source and procure testing material – specifically, testing swabs and transport media. As of June 26th, FEMA has procured and delivered 29.4 million swabs and 20.5 million units of media. The FEMA-sourced material will be provided to states, territories, and tribes for a limited duration to help increase testing capacity in support of their individualized plans.


Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)

Training Resumes At All Facilities. On June 22nd, FLETC resumed training operations at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers in Charleston, South Carolina. All FLETC facilities have now resumed training in a safe and secure environment.

Office of Operations Coordination (OPS) 

Ensuring Situational Awareness. The Department’s Crisis Action Team (CAT) and National Operations Center continue to work 24/7 on Departmental COVID-19 response.  This work includes managing information, situational awareness, and reporting to the interagency and senior officials. OPS supports the Department’s efforts to share information internally and externally during the pandemic. Between June 21st and 27th the CAT produced more than twenty COVID-19 related reports covering Departmental and international actions and impacts on the DHS workforce.


Science and Technology (S&T)

Driving Evidence-Based Policymaking. On June 24th, Science and Technology updated its Master Question List (MQL), a compilation of available research on operationally relevant questions to aid decision makers in the COVID-19 response. The MQL is a quick-reference guide covering what is known about the virus, what additional information is needed, and who may be working to address these fundamental questions. New entries include references of work that show beginning efforts of contract tracing in Japan have linked exposures to clusters associated with social gathering activities involving close contact, i.e. bars, music festivals, restaurants, etc. Additionally, completed serological surveys in New York indicate that through the end of March an estimated 14 percent of adult population were exposed to COVID-19. To date, access of MQL has exceeded 45,000 views.


Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Keeping Americans Safe While Ensuring Continuity of U.S. Travel and Commerce. Between June 21st and June 27th, TSA screened more than 3,967,161 passengers, who have all reached their destinations safely. TSA officers are required to wear facial protection while on duty at the checkpoint and the agency continues to follow CDC guidance to protect Americans, its workers, and the nation’s transportation system, in support of air travel and all other modes of transportation.


Ready to Ensure Safety During the Summer Travel Period. Between 21st and June 27th, TSA Administrator Pekoske released his Administrator’s Intent 2.0 which acknowledges the agency’s agility and adaptability necessary in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. TSA continues to implement changes across airport screening checkpoints nationwide in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the public safe. 


United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Monitoring Vessels that Pose a Risk to Public Health. As of June 26, 2020, the USCG is tracking 6 cruise ships moored, at anchor, or underway in vicinity of a U.S. port, or with potential to arrive in a US port, with 18,882 crewmembers. This includes an estimated 239 American Citizens crewmembers dispersed among 37 vessels.  The Coast Guard is working with the CDC based on its extension of the No Sail Order for cruise ships, which permits the off-loading of crewmembers following submission of a plan to the CDC. 


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Keeping the Public Safe from COVID-19-related Fraud. ICE’s Operation Stolen Promise (OSP) targets fraudulent activity stemming from the pandemic. The initiative combines ICE’s Homeland Security Investigation’s (HSI) expertise in global trade investigations, financial fraud, and cyber investigations with robust private and public partnerships to disrupt and dismantle this criminal activity and strengthen global supply-chain security. As of June 26th, as part of OSP, the agency has made 29 criminal arrests, analyzed 44,583 COVID-19-related domains, seized more than $5,233,128 million in illicit proceeds, disrupted 40 instances of illicit activity, sent 1,106 leads to domestic and international field offices, executed 56 search warrants and made 799 COVID-19-related seizures to include prohibited test kits and pharmaceuticals, counterfeit masks and more.COVID-19-related seizures to include prohibited test kits and pharmaceuticals, counterfeit masks and more.


Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Securing Our Borders to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. CBP’s ongoing construction of the border wall system has helped shaped the behavior of illegal border crossers and smugglers during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 25th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) completed the construction of 220 miles of new border wall system, in place of dilapidated or outdated designs and in places where no barriers previously existed, in high priority locations across the Southwest border. 


Getting American Citizens Home Safe. As of June 23rd, CBP had referred 372,569 travelers at the 15 funneling airports to CWMD for enhanced health screening.