Officials at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., today host a ceremony and ribbon-cutting for the grand opening of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (ARDEC) Homeland Defense Testbed Emergency Operations Center.

The center will serve as a developmental battle lab, providing warfighters and first responders with interoperable, world-class decision-support technologies to meet the 21st century security and civil-support challenges.

Scheduled to begin operations in mid-year, the 7,000-plus square feet testbed EOC will consist of more than 40 permanent operator workstations, arranged on a large main operations floor with a fully networked 13-by-33-foot state-of-the-art video wall.

Overlooking the main operations floor are four additional command rooms. Each will be capable of operating as an autonomous EOC with its own secure voice, video and data communications systems.

The testbed EOC is fully re-configurable and expandable, with independent network communications and back-up uninterruptible power supply and generator power.

The facility’s audio visual and information technology infrastructure is robust enough to support a surge staff of more than 100 operators during multi-agency exercises and real-world events.

Designed as a fully functional command and control center, the testbed EOC also provides training, exercise and real-world operational support to local, state and federal civil authorities, as well as National Guard and civil support responders.

After the ceremonies, ARDEC will showcase some of its homeland defense technologies and initiatives will be showcased that support the Defense Department’s homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities’ missions.