Senior DoD Homeland Defense Official Paul McHale Kicks Off Defense Support to Civil Authorities in Americas Conference

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September 19, 2008

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs Paul McHale was the keynote speaker at the CHDS "Defense Support to Civil Authorities in the Western Hemisphere Conference" that is being held in Crystal City, Virginia, September 16-18. In a well-received presentation, McHale likened effective anti-disaster preparation to having an insurance policy, saying that timely planning in advance can not only limit damage but save lives. Major General Christopher Miller of NORTHCOM stated that during times of disaster, saving lives is paramount, regardless of what side of any national border they live; eliminating barriers to saving lives prior to natural (or man-made) disaster is key to success.

The conference opened as CHDS celebrated its 11th anniversary as part of a week-long series of activities including an Center alumni association seminar and the conferring of the "William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Defense Education." This year's awards are being given to the Chilean National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE) in the institutional category and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in the individual category.