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Meeting at LIFT Ken Morelly Homeland Security Unit

June 25, 2010 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Today my friend Ken Morelly, made good on his promise to have LIFT host a LIMBA meeting at the Homeland Security Center in Bethpage. Ken came to LIMBA in September of 2009 and explained what we would find there we came. Unfortunately Ken passed on in October less than a month after he appeared at LIMBA.

LIFT"s Ray Donnelly was there to host the meeting. Deputy Nassau County Executive Patrick Foye was there representing County Executive, Ed Mangano, to welcome us as well. The center has been renamed The Morelly Homeland Security Center to honor Ken for his vision and dedication

The tour of the facility began in the "343 Lecture Hall" so named to honor the lost fire fighters on 9-11. This is a large room that can accommodate about 130 people with hard-wired Internet in every seat position. There are four large screens in the front of the room so that each person in the audience can follow the speaker’s presentation. They can also be accessing their own computers. The Center is equipped with it’s own satellite communications and various other connections to the outside world. In the event of local catastrophic interruptions of power and communications the Center would still be able to communicate with the rest of the world. The facility has a generator that provides 1/2 megawatt of emergency power that will turn on if the grid power collapses.

We then went to a room with fourteen command position where various professional would take up various tasks if there were a natural disaster or an enemy attack. In this room there are two tech desks with four positions of technical people that can be there to keep all of the communication access points operating. Next to this room is what will be the command center. This where the County Executive could conceivably be a time of an emergency.

The building itself was designed to DOD standards during the Cold War and can withstand enormous forces. The outside walls are two feet thick and there are only a few windows. The entities that are part of this effort include Globecom, Siemens, Brookhaven National Laboratories, Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Stony Brook University, Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, FEMA, US Coast Guard and LIFT. The center has an elaborate array of communications that provide information and coordination among the various entities that would be involved in major catastrophic events  

In addition there are small medium and large companies with a presence at the facility that work in concert with the center to further develop material science and other disciplines. The beauty of this center is that it will function as a technology generator that will provide new manufacturing job opportunities and new businesses. If we never have the need to use this facility for it’s worse case scenario it was designed to handle, it will still be worth the effort.

Many thanks to LIFT president Frank Otto, Bill Wahling and Ray Donnelly who guided us through this morning’s presentation.
Ernie Fazio