Moderator -- Frank J. Gaffney Jr., CSP
Brigadier General (ret.) Ken Chrosniak, Member of EMPact America, a firefighter with Carlisle Fire Rescue, VP of Cumberland Goodwill Ambulance (EMS) Company, and member of the FBI vetted InfraGard EMP Special Interest Group. Ken is an instructor at the Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership Development.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Chair, Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Caucus; Member, Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities Subcommittee; Member, Strategic Forces Subcommittee.
Major General (ret.) Robert Newman, Former Adjutant General of Virginia; Deputy Assistant to the Governor, Virginia; Vice Director of Operations & Logistics at US Joint Forces Command ; Deputy Director of Homeland Security at National Guard Bureau.
The backbone of the United States and its 21st Century society is our electric grid. Without it, every critical infrastructure -- including food, water, medicine, telecommunications, finance and transportation -- would be inoperable, with catastrophic consequences for many millions of Americans whose lives would be imperiled by the loss of such services.
Unfortunately, the U.S. bulk power system is presently vulnerable to widespread damage and possible destruction from a variety of sources. Arguably, the most serious of these is electromagoetic pulse (EMP), whether induced by natural phenomena (i.e., solar flaring and the resultant space weather) or enemy actions (e.g., localized attacks on the grid's critical nodes- roughly 1,000 transformers- involving radio frequency weapons or strategic attacks utilizing exoatmospheric detonations of nuclear weapons). Either could have the effect of blacking out large parts of the United States for protracted periods of time.
This panel will consider the emerging consensus that such threats are real and must be remediated; examine how best to make the present and future grids resilient against these and related dangers (including cyber-warfare); and address the necessary federal-and state-level legislative and executive branch actions required to effect such changes.