"Partners in Preparedness" was the theme for this year's third Force Protection Seminar hosted by the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District Washington held at Spates Hall, Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall, Arlington Va., Aug. 29, 2012.

More than 100 security experts in anti-terrorism, intelligence, Operational Security (OPSEC), crisis management, cyber defense, metropolitan police department, and other law enforcement agencies attended the annual seminar to discuss national emergency management in the Nation Capital Region.

Egon Hawrylak, deputy commander, JFHQ-NCR/MDW provided opening comments and highlighted the importance of awareness throughout the NCR and the significance of those organizations and agencies working together.

"The topics discussed at this seminar will enable all of us to better plan, prepare and execute missions within the National Capital Region," said Hawrylak.

JFHQ-NCR, based at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. is responsible for land-based homeland defense, defense support of civil authorities (DSCA), and incident management in the National Capital Region.

"Exchanging information throughout all agencies is vital," said Bryan Paarmann, Special Agent, FBI. "We need to be looking into each agency and using them to keep the American homeland safe."

The continued protection of facilities and people, require eternal vigilance and successful integration with all agencies that increases the levels of expertise and experience.

"The seminar has been designed to bring together professionals across the broad spectrum of Force Protection to ensure information sharing continues with all Department of Defense agencies and inter-agency partners throughout the National Capital Region," said Hawrylak.

"This is a dangerous time we live in," said Paarmann. "It's up to us to stick together and help each other out."

"The key to a successful protection mission is having open and consistent communication with our interagency partners and a strong antiterrorism program that incorporates threat awareness, mitigation and elimination of our vulnerabilities, and protection of our personnel, facilities and mission capabilities," said Hawrylak. "This is not an easy task and we must remain vigilant."

Paarmann explained the importance of vigilance, awareness and the speaking to agencies within the National Capital Region.

"We need to be meeting now at this seminar," said Paarmann. "I don't want to meet you standing next to me at an active shooter crime scene. If you see something, say something!"

The various agencies used the seminar to exchange information and learn from the many subject matter experts.

"This is the third year that we have done the JFHQ-NCR/MDW Force Protection seminar," said Marvin Solomon, Force Protection Analyst, Protection Division, JFHQ-NCR/MDW. "I think it is imperative that this continues to bring together all the agencies and reminds them of the importance of their partnership."

JFHQ-NCR is responsible for protecting the District of Columbia and neighboring counties and cities of Maryland and Virginia, including Loudon, Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Virginia. JFHQ-NCR draws together the existing resources of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and NORAD into a single point headquarters for planning, coordination and execution of the mission in the National Capital Region.

"Let us remember we are all guardians," said Hawrylak. "We are proud to be partners as we protect the Nation's Capital."