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Defense Critical Infrastructure: Actions Needed to Improve the Identification and Management of Electrical Power Risks and Vulnerabilities to DOD Critical Assets
Davi M. D’Agostino (au)
The Dept. of Defense (DOD) relies on a global network of defense critical infrastructure so essential that the incapacitation, exploitation, or destruction of an asset within this network could severely affect DOD's ability to deploy, support, and sustain its forces and operations worldwide and to implement its core missions. In Oct. 2008, DOD identified its 34 most critical assets in this network -- assets of such extraordinary importance to DOD operations that according to DOD, their incapacitation or destruction would have a very serious, debilitating effect on the ability of the dept. to fulfill its missions. Located both within the U.S. and abroad, DOD's most critical assets include both DOD- and non-DOD-owned assets. DOD relies overwhelmingly on commercial electrical power grids for secure, uninterrupted electrical power supplies to support its critical assets and is the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S. DOD has traditionally assumed that commercial electrical power grids are highly reliable and subject to only infrequent (generally weather-related), short-term disruptions. In 2008, however, the Defense Science Board reported that "[c]ritical national security and homeland defense missions are at an unacceptably high risk of extended outage from failure of the [commercial electrical power] grid" upon which DOD overwhelmingly relies for its electrical power supplies. Commercial electrical power grids have become increasingly fragile and vulnerable to extended disruptions that could severely impact DOD's most critical assets, their supporting infrastructure, and ultimately the missions they support. This report addresses these issues and argues that with more comprehensive knowledge of the most critical assets' risks and vulnerabilities to electrical power disruptions, DOD can better avoid compromising crucial DOD-wide missions during electrical power disruptions. Includes recommendations. Illus.
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