#1 – How long have you worked in your sector? How did you become interested in your sector?
I moved from the Emergency Services to the Government Facilities Sector based on my connection and association with a multitude of jurisdictions in both CONUS and OCONUS. My career in the Army working in various government facility settings in the US and abroad allowed me to see firsthand the level of preparedness facility managers took to ensure not only the life-safety issues of their occupants but also the critical business continuity concerns of those entities. The broad range of facilities included special-use military installations, laboratories, general-use office complexes as well as a multitude of facilities which are used for the storage of networks, complex special-use missions, embassies, etc.
#2 - Why is your sector considered critical infrastructure and why is it so important to protect?
The Government Facilities Sector includes a wide variety of buildings, located in the United States and overseas, that are owned or leased by federal, state, local, and tribal governments. Many of these facilities are open to the public for business activities, commercial transactions, or recreational activities while others that are not open to the public contain highly sensitive information, materials, processes, and equipment. These facilities include general-use office buildings and special-use military installations, embassies, courthouses, national laboratories, and structures that may house critical equipment, systems, networks, etc. In addition to physical structures, the sector includes cyber elements that contribute to the protection of sector assets (e.g., access control systems and closed-circuit television systems) as well as individuals who perform essential functions or possess tactical, operational, or strategic knowledge.
#3 – What are the biggest threats to your sector’s operations?
In the “All-Hazards” environment in which we live and work, the concern becomes one of how far we have progressed in our preparation for, response to, and recovery from manmade and natural disasters. With a wide variety of facilities in the US and overseas which are either leased or owned by federal, state, and local jurisdictions, the susceptibility of these facilities to either manmade or natural disasters is demonstrated on a 24/7 basis. In a given 24-hour period, you can have fires and floods which impact schools to an active shooter incident which threatens employees at a worksite. The multitude of “All-Hazards” scenarios which we have seen played out each day continues to challenge how well prepared we are and tests the effectiveness of our response as well as evaluates the promptness and success or lack thereof of our recovery effort.
#4 – Has your sector been in the news recently?
Because of its broad reach both nationally and internationally, the Government Facilities Sector is in the news on a daily basis. It is in fact a 24/7 presence continuously impacted by “All-Hazards” incidents. Many government facilities are open to the public for business activities, commercial transactions, or recreational activities while others that are not open to the public contain highly sensitive information, materials, processes, and equipment. Irrespective of their role and location in the Government Facilities Sector, structures from schools and laboratories to federal worksites are impacted by a multitude of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes as well as a series of manmade events which can include bomb threats in schools, hazard material releases as well as the active shooter and cyber world which is always present
About the Sector Chief
Bowman Olds has served as the Corporate Emergency Operations Manager for a Fortune 500 company responsible on a 24/7 basis for monitoring and responding to all manmade and natural disasters with the potential to impact 41,000 employees in all 50 states and 40 countries overseas. Bowman has been with SAIC for 20 years and has served in the US Army in Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, Brussels, Belgium with NATO, and with the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Desert. Prior to coming to SAIC, he served as the Crisis Action Team Chief in the Pentagon’s Army Operations Center. During his tenure with SAIC, he has developed emergency response and crisis management plans, managed special events training (2002 Winter Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics) as well as a series of table-top, functional and full-scale exercises (TOPOFF & NLE) addressing a broad range of natural and manmade emergency situations, for commercial and government clients. Bowman has three master’s degrees from the University of San Francisco, the Naval War College, and the Army Command & General Staff College. He is HAZMAT and HSEEP qualified, NIMS certified and is a member of the Prince William County EOC, Chairman of the Prince William County Local Emergency Planning Committee and former Chairman of the Fairfax County Joint Local Emergency Planning Committee. He is currently President of the Association of Continuity Professionals for the DC Metro Mid-Atlantic area. Bowman is now serving with the Joint All-Hazards Operations Center for the Department of Health, Washington, DC.