(SUFFOLK, Va. - Jan. 16, 2007) -- All this week, the USJFCOM Joint Innovation and Experimentation (JI&E) Directorate's Joint Futures Laboratory (JFL) will sponsor a modeling and simulation (M&S) capabilities demonstration event focusing on military support for civilian agency homeland defense and security operations.

Event organizers say it will show how officials and first-responders can use M&S to prepare for a catastrophe: in this case a simulated 10-kiloton nuclear explosion in Washington, D.C.

In the scenario, intelligence sources also learn Norfolk, Houston, and Portland, Ore., are ports where terrorists might try to smuggle in more weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The demonstration will showcase how M&S technology breakthroughs could address these national challenges.

Demonstration experiment lead Sean Byrnes from the Joint Future Laboratory's M&S Division described the setup. "There are fourteen different systems, and they range from faster-than-real-time to... modeling in real time," he said.

Byrnes added the demonstration includes engineer models depicting traffic flow and a panicky populace trying to flee the area, and where projected bottlenecks will occur. All models represent different consequences of this catastrophe.

The whole idea of this demonstration is to demonstrate what's available and to stimulate thought and collaboration, according to Byrnes.

An amalgam of government and civilian agencies and organizations as well as industry will bring 14 models and tools to the demonstration. Participants will focus on homeland defense tools, many of which already have been used in other operations. There will be four daily demonstrations in hour-long blocks.

While each participating organization will offer its unique approach to homeland defense, all approaches will be conducted within a common scenario framework according to Byrnes.