Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, speaks at the 8th Annual Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnerships Conference, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C., July 23, 2019.
[Host] Please welcome Ann Romatowski Vice President, Global Philanthropy J.P. Morgan Chase and Rachel Schneider Omidyar Network Entrepreneur in Residence, Financial Security Program, the Aspen Institute.
Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you all for being here. And I wanna thank the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, for putting on this exceptional event, bringing us all together today. I, in particular, wanna thank them for their leadership in highlighting opportunities for industry and other stakeholders to really invest in building financial security of vulnerable communities. So my name is Ann Romatowski. I’m with J.P. Morgan Chase, where I focus on financial health and financial security, doing philanthropic work and across all lines of business. I’m really delighted to be here today with Rachel Schneider. Rachel has a distinguished career in research around the financial lives of vulnerable communities across the United States. And also has a really compelling way of translating all of her research into actionable opportunities that corporations, government leaders, philanthropists and other stakeholders can take, to help address that financial insecurity. So one of the things that I wanna note that we’ll be talking about a little bit in this session, is a book that Rachel co-authored called, ‘The Financial Diaries’, that’s really an extraordinary deep dive into the financial behaviors of families across the US. It shows an incredibly high level of ingenuity, but also a lot of opportunities where systems can really do better. And it’s also just a really engaging read, so I encourage all of you to check that out. So for this session, we’re gonna be talking about financial well being, income, volatility and economic resilience for vulnerable individuals. Then we’re gonna talk about how disasters can sometimes exacerbate an already precarious situation. So I don’t have to tell this audience that when it comes to disasters, everybody is exposed. But as we’ve heard already today, low income and vulnerable communities, tend to have a harder time with standing and then recovering from disasters when they do come up. So before we dive into disasters, specifically, Rachel, I thought it would be helpful to hear more about how families deal with uncertainty on a day to day basis and the systems that they use to create personal resilience. So can you tell us a little bit about your findings on that?
Sure, so I’d also like to send a thanks to the Chamber of Commerce Foundation and also to all of you for spending your time on this. It’s really been an interesting session so far for me. So I’m really glad to be here. As Ann mentioned, my work on the Financial Diaries project, was really a deep dive into the financial lives of families. So what my co-author Jonathan Morduch, who’s a professor at NYU, and I did, is we led a team of researchers and we worked closely with 235 families across the country, to understand every dollar that came in and out of their homes. So for a full year, we had field researchers who were out talking to these families and gathering data about how they spent, saved, earned, gave money away, borrowed. I mean we tried to log it if they were given a free couch by a relative. Right, we really wanted to understand the depths of people’s financial experience and the depths of their lives. What emerged from that work was, really a story of volatility. A story of how uncertain people’s money is, from month to month, or from week to week. A big part of that story is stuff you know intuitively, right? Expenses are just inherently lumpy. Like Christmas comes when it comes. The beginning of the school year comes when it comes. Roofs break, cars break, right, stuff happens. What was less well understood, was the extent to which people’s income also really goes up and down throughout the year. So, if you’re me, right, I haven’t really lived that experience. I’ve had mostly salaried jobs, most of my life. There’s a bonus at the end of the year, hopefully, right? But there’s a great deal of steadiness. But for a lot of the workforce, that’s not the case at all. So if you work hourly, there’s ups and downs, week to week. If you work on commission, there’s ups and downs, week to week. If you have a baseline salary, but depend on overtime, then there’s ups and downs, week to week. So what you see when you look at the bottom part of the income distribution in this country, it’s not only are people’s wages lower and they’ve been stagnant for several decades, relative to the rising cost of living. But you also see that month to month, people really don’t know how much they’re gonna earn. When you lay that against the ups and downs of spending, it’s just an incredibly challenging project for people to understand, what is my money gonna look like next week? So, when we think about financial resilience, we often wanna go first to budgeting, like tell budget. But it’s important to come to that question understanding that people’s experience is just incredibly variable over time. So the budgeting analysis you’re hoping people will do, is actually really complicated.
I think that that’s a really important point and I think for so long, there have been a lot of programs out there, that are very well intentioned, that are promoting concepts like budgeting, or sort of broad based financial literacy campaigns, with the assumption that if people just knew a little bit more about how to manage their money, they would be able to overcome some of these hurdles. But what your research has really shown, is that out of these 235 families that you looked into really in depth, a lot of them were very, very savvy and very, very sophisticated about their finances, managing lots of complex inflows and outflows and really being sophisticated there and thinking about savings in really interesting ways.
So in the face of all of this volatility, what does it actually mean to save and to save successfully?
Yeah, it’s a good question. So, a lot of people have probably heard the statistic that the federal reserve is responsible for, which is that approximately 40% of Americans cannot easily pay for a $400 expense, if it were to come up. That statistic is kind of shocking and the immediate response to that, usually for people is, well how do we help people to save more? So if what’s happening is that families don’t have $400 on hand when something comes up, then how do we help them save that money? In fact, there is a several decades old field that both Ann and I are, would probably consider ourselves to be part of around how to help people build assets and wealth. In that field, we’ve really invested a ton of effort into thinking about how to help people save. But what we saw, when we looked at people’s lives over the course of a full year, is it’s not that people aren’t saving. They’re saving on a regular basis. It’s just that they’re saving and then spending that savings. And saving and then spending that savings, over and over and over. So what you see are incredible inflows and outflows within a savings account. So, as Ann’s sort of pointing to, it’s not that people don’t know. I mean we ask the question of, as part of our ongoing survey data collection in the Diaries, we ask people, how much money do you think you should have set aside? People know the benchmarks. They know what amount financial literacy experts, or budgeting experts, or financial advisors say they should have. There’s not a huge knowledge gap there. There’s not even a huge behavior gap. What’s happening is that, people, something comes up and people spend that money. In fact, like that’s what we should see, right, that’s not a bad thing. That’s people using the savings for what it was intended, which is to deal with some upcoming expense. One of the things that we saw, is that people are, as Ann was referencing, incredibly creative about how to save, because saving in cash in a savings account is, it can be hard. It can be hard to not then spend that money on things that you don’t necessarily need. So we had one family we talk about a lot, who we, she put her money, like she had multiple accounts. So she had a checking account, basically, that she used for bill payment and other things locally. She put her savings in a credit union that was an hour drive away, had terrible hours. She cut up her debit card, so she couldn’t access that savings, right? And so what she said is, “That way, I will only access that money “for really, really needs.” Is how she talked about it. So like the need for that money had to rise to the level of, “I’m willing to drive out there, “at a time that it’s a pain.” We saw all kinds of variations on that. We had another person who talked about putting all of his money with his mom. He said, “My mom’s like Fort Knox.” (laughing) “Like I can’t get it.” On the other hand, he knew he could get it if he really needed it, but he couldn’t get it easily. So there is work we can do around helping people, to meet their savings objectives, but we should approach that work understanding that people are, they’re saving and they’re working hard at it. There are just external constraints, around how much money they’ll actually accumulate in those accounts.
Yeah, I think that this is a great point and it reminds me of some work out of an organization called EARN and their SaverLife platform. It’s an online platform where individuals can link in a checking account or a savings account. Set a savings goal, receive some nudges and other information from a community of savers like them. Then as long as they sort of save consistently over the course of a few months, they’re entered into win prizes for savings and in some cases, receive small matches, for the amount that they are able to save. They have remarkable success rates, with a population that has a fairly low income. I believe that the median income of their participants is about $25,000 a year. So it really challenges this notion that low income people can’t save, but that I think it’s just one example of a situation in which low income people, with the right access to products and encouragement and the ability to set their goals and reach towards them, can and will save. So J.P. Morgan Chase has partnered with SaverLife in Houston to work with a number of community based organizations there to help people set a savings goal around being prepared for a disaster. Hopefully, we won’t see the next Harvey anytime soon, but the reality of that event really hit that community. So being able to bring in this product, this tool to help people name an objective around preparedness and to set some money aside there, has been really powerful for the community. So, Rachel, you mentioned that sort of savings is important, but we know that it’s not the whole piece of the puzzle. So what are some other tactics that you’ve seen people use to build financial resilience?
So a huge piece that goes sort of under acknowledged, is about connection with community. So early on in the Diaries, one of the things we did, is write a series of profiles about individual households. One of the first profiles that we wrote, was about a woman that we renamed Rita. I recovered, we’re always changing some details about people’s lives, in order to protect their anonymity. Rita’s way of getting through the month, was she, so the whole month, people would be asking her for stuff, right? Somebody would sleep on her couch. Somebody else would come over for dinner. Somebody else needed help paying a bill. She was always saying yes. Then at the end of the month, when she was short, she went back to all those same people. And they all helped her. For the purely financial advice, like if you’re a personal financial advisor, that feels kind of odd, like it feels like well, if Rita hadn’t shared with the other people earlier in the month, she wouldn’t have needed to go to anyone else later in the month. She just would’ve had what she needed. But the reality is, that that inner connection is a huge part of real value for her life, that ongoing give and take and that feeling of connectedness and all the people she relied on and who relied on her, is what gave her life meaning and purpose. Strangely, the silver lining, like disaster recovery is always sort of awful and yet, you always hear these stories, right? You always hear the stories of how and why people helped each other. So I do think that’s an important piece of financial resilience planning itself, is part of why we’re so intrigued by the existence of employee hardship funds, or employee relief funds. But because I think we do have this natural instinct to band together and take care of each other. I think that strategy deserves really lifting up and acknowledging as a strategy, is it should be, it is a part of people’s financial planning and it should be, it deserves to be.
That’s great. So I’d love to spend a little bit more time on that last piece that you mentioned, employee hardship funds.
And I love the tie into community, because a lot of people do consider their workplace and their colleagues, part of their community.
So you’ve done some research on the existence of these funds. We already heard a little bit today about the great work that the Chamber is doing on the employee assistance funds. Can you talk a little bit more about the research that you’ve done on employee hardship funds? What’s out there? What it looks like? And what some of the promising practices are?
Sure, I’m happy to. So last year, the Wal-Mart Foundation provided a grant to the Aspen Institute and Commonwealth, which is a non-profit based in Boston. We went in and tried to understand what is the state of the field among employee relief funds? So we interviewed some of the largest funds and some of the third party fund providers and we also did research with beneficiaries. So we did in-depth interviews with, I wanna say like 15 beneficiaries and we did a survey with almost 200. We also then did some focus groups, to understand what people who hadn’t experienced the hardship fund, thought about them. And, I have to say, I was a bit surprised by it. Because my bias going in, was that, what matters most is the financial health outcome, right? If people had been given a grant of some kind, because something has gone wrong in their lives and now they have received a grant. Then because of like the work that I’ve done in the world, I thought the most important metric for success, is what does the financial life of that person look like afterwards? I should clarify that what we were interested in, in particular, was not only the funds that exist to help employees after a disaster, but also the funds, like a specific interest in the funds that defined their scope of work more broadly, and also cover all kinds of personal hardships. Part of why we thought that was so important, was that based on this story that I’m telling about the financial fragility of many American households, if we wanna think about how to help people post a disaster, we have to think more broadly about their financial lives, in general. We have to be able to build resilience, in general, in ways that I think are very consistent with how I heard some of the prior speakers talking about preparedness. Part of the preparedness is, what is the financial well being of employees, citizens are able to weather a shock later? So we were particularly looking at the funds that have expanded their focus, so that they can help people with a wide range of challenges that they might feel. So, my lens was really, “All right, “so you helped somebody with this challenge, “then what is their financial well being?” What I didn’t anticipate was, how strongly the building of community was a part of why people valued the funds, right? That people valued being able to be a donor, just as highly as people who were recipients, valued the ability to get that money on the back end. Which I found really compelling. It does go back to, I think this sense that we need to invest heavily in community and that when you do, people really respond and appreciate that.
That’s great. So Rachel, I’ve heard you talk before about this question about employee hardship funds and the question of if you’re gonna make, give an opportunity to an employee to apply for $1,000 in the case of an emergency. Why not just increase pay by $20 or $50, every paycheck?
What’s the difference there, in terms of impact?
Yeah, I’m glad you asked me that, and in part, because I feel like there’s all sorts of additional financial interventions we should be talking about that this question goes to. So, having a lump sum of money at one time, is not the same as having a little bit more money all the time. It’s just not. It doesn’t operate the same in peoples’ lives. When you ask people, like I wanna go multiple directions with that, it doesn’t operate in the same way, because if you imagine $1,000. That basically equates to getting an additional $20 in your paycheck every two weeks. Well that amount is gonna be good, you’re gonna appreciate it. But it is not necessarily going to accrue to any accumulated amount. Yet, you’re still gonna have those moments, when you need a lump sum, because something has happened in your life. So, the Pew Charitable Trust did research looking at the magnitude and frequency of economic shocks. In a given year, you can expect that about 60% of people of households in the country, will experience some kind of an economic shock, that requires them to come up with some lump sum. So, when you put that in context, right? 60% of people are gonna experience something where they need a lump sum. 40% of people do not have $400 easily available. Now that serves to tell you that the opportunity to get a $1,000 when you need it, or $500 when you need it, it is different than having a little bit more money all the time. Now they both matter and we should be worried about wages. One of the things that surfaced from our hardship fund research was that hardship funds were far more likely to result in people saying, “Yes, this money allowed me “to get back to my pre-hardship fund condition.” When they also had strong wages and benefits supporting them. All right, so there’s no way in which access to $1,000, occasionally, takes the place of wages. They both matter, but I think we need to understand that they both matter and we need more interventions in the world that acknowledge the value of both of those ways of receiving money.
That’s great. So, we are running up on time, so unfortunately, we don’t have time for Q & A, but we are gonna continue the themes of this conversation in a break out session this afternoon, on vulnerable communities. So welcome all of you to join us here and please join me in thanking Rachel.
All right, thank you, Ann!
Good afternoon. Thank you, Ann and Rachel, for a great conversation on financial health during disasters. Their discussion speaks to the theme of our conference. Public private partnerships to empower individuals in communities in times of disaster. The Chamber Foundation has been working with companies to think about how they support their employees, who face financial hardship after a disaster. I encourage you to talk with the Foundation staff to learn more about the Partnership with America’s Charities and Employee Assistance Fund Program. So I’m Chris Roberti, the Senior Vice President for Cyber Intelligence and Security Policy at the US Chamber of Commerce. It is my honor to introduce to you our next speaker, General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy. General O’Shaughnessy is Commander in United States Northern Command in North American Aerospace Defense Command. USNORTHCOM, partners with others, to conduct homeland defense, civil support and security cooperation, to defend and secure the United States and its interests. Norad conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in the defense of North America. General O’Shaughnessy is a 1986 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is also a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and 168 combat hours. We’re honored to have him here today, to discuss resilience and protection at the national level. So please join me in welcoming General O’Shaughnessy. Thank you.
Can you guys hear me without the mic here? Well good afternoon, everybody. And we’re gonna first thank the Chamber for hosting this great event and then teamed up with both FEMA and NORTHCOM, to talk about these really critical areas that ultimately, we need to be prepared for whatever the future might bring. So I’m gonna talk a little bit about just NORTHCOM and Norad. Gonna talk a little bit about the things that we do to protect our nations. Then I’m gonna talk a little bit about the things that we’re prepared to do, whether it be a natural disaster, or whether it be a more nefarious actor that causes harm and the things that we can do to partner with both industry, with the public communities, with the local communities and the things that we need to do to be able to be prepared. So let me start by talking a little bit about NORTHCOM and Norad. So two separate commands worth noting. One is NORTHCOM, is a US only command. And Norad is a bi-national command with Canada. That’s important to note, just because of the nature of what our responsibility for Norad extends with our Canadian partners and I report just as much to the Prime Minister as I do to the President, with respect to the Norad responsibilities. If you can go to the next slide, I’ll kind of give you an idea of some of the things that we do. First thing I’d say, is everyday, 24/7 365, we have the airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines and civilians of NORTHCOM and Norad, are on alert, ready to respond to whatever happens. That can be something such as a terrorist attack. It could be something like a hijacking that we saw in 9/11. It could be something like a Russian long range aviation that we see sometimes flying through the Arctic. It could be things that you see on the slide there where there’s a big event, whether it be the Superbowl or it be the Inauguration. We provide some protection, whether that be airborne caps all the way to protection against (mumbles). We look at some of the things that are happening within our nation on any given day. We are always prepared to respond, whether it’s a chemical, a biological, a radiological or nuclear event, to be able to respond. So it’s a pretty wide spectrum of things, that we’re able to respond to, on any given day. But we also provide protection for the President. We provide protection for the national capital region here. We’re also standing by any moment to respond to a natural disaster. That could be some of the things that you’ve seen, certainly highlighted, some of the TTXs you’ve done, but also the real events that we’ve had just over the last couple years, were some pretty significant hurricanes that have hit the United States. And we are postured to respond. We’re not the only federal agency in that, and that’s an important piece to remember. So we’re partnered with FEMA and in the end, this response, where it starts at the local level, then it goes to local communities, to the state level, to include the state National Guard and then if additional resources are needed at the federal level, then FEMA steps in and then we are supporting FEMA, bringing excess capability and capacity with the Department of Defense can bring to bear. Where are things worth noting is that we, even though we at NORTHCOM don’t own all of the assets that might need to come to bear, we’re what we call the DOD synchronizer. So we take all of the assets that might be within the Department of Defense and we’re able to apply that. That way, people don’t have to go to five or six different agencies that might have the capability, capacity that they need. They can go right to us, as NORTHCOM, and we can make sure that right capability, capacity gets to the right spot at the right time. So within that role of the DOD synchronizer, we’ve had very good success in supporting in FEMA, supporting the states and ultimately supporting our response to natural disasters, like hurricanes. But we’re also considered other natural disasters, like the wildfires that we provide support to them, as well. And we’re prepared to, maybe for example, if there was an earthquake of a large magnitude, we’re prepared to be able to respond to those type of events, as well. Now as we go into more nefarious actors, we find that the security environment that we’re in today is much, much different than it was just a few years ago. When we look at some of the Russian capability, look at some of the Chinese capabilities and we watch North Korea, watch what’s happening in Iran today. We find that these actions that are happening globally, can now impact us at home much more than they might’ve been able to just a few years ago. So of course, we’re actively on defense against them as well. We run the ballistic missile defense. So if for example, if North Korea was able to launch a missile, we’d be able to take that missile out, before it would be able to hit the United States. We’re able to respond if the Russians, when they fly their long range aviation, if they fly, sort of for example, the Gorshkav was just recently out here, a frigate that they sailed into close to our territory. That we were able to respond to whatever the nature of the potential threat might be, we’re able to respond to that. But what we find, is when we look at going into what the future might bring, we have to be able to respond to that full spectrum, whether it be a wildfire, whether it be a hurricane, whether it be an earthquake or whether it was, maybe one of our adversaries that would actually try to cause us harm here in the United States or Canada, we need to be able to respond to that, as well. What we find is, the actual structure that we use for the hurricanes, as an example, is the same response structure that would work very well, if we had a nefarious actor that caused some sort of challenging situation here in the United States. So we find that when we apply that same template, we’re able to bring to bear that federal capability from the Department of Defense, all the way down to the local level. Slide. So let’s talk a little bit about the lens that I look through and where I get my guidance. The good news is, we have very clear guidance all the way from national security strategy that talks to us about having a culture of preparedness that talks about building that resiliency and that applies to the Department of Defense, just like it applies to every agency, within the inner agency in the government, as well as all the way down to the local level. So we take that guidance very seriously and then we look at, as we’ve done responses to things like hurricanes, one of the things we find is, there’s such a big difference, if the local level response is prepared, that the overall response works so much better, because of that local capability that’s there, becomes so critically important. So it’s not just having that federal capability that’s important, it’s really that local level, that state/local community level, the state level and then the federal level, it all has to come together in a collaborative way. A big part of that is, understanding who it is, that we’re gonna be working with. That’s why I think at events like this, where you’re actually getting to know each other, doing some of the table top exercises, like you were able to do this morning. You’re exchanging business cards, because the first time you talk to somebody, you don’t want that to be an immediate response to an actual incident, or a catastrophic event. You wanna build those relationships early and you wanna have that role that’s well defined and who it is that we need to call and who it is that we need to partner with. I think we get that guidance very clearly in some of the directions that we’ve been given. Then clearly from my perspective, our number one priority, is protection of the homeland. That’s a sacred responsibility that we take very seriously and that’s why we are on alert 24/7 365. And we would possibly respond to whatever the future might bring. We take that incredibly seriously. Then, at the end of the day, we have this military capability and so we wanna make sure what we’re bringing to bear, is actually gonna be helpful to the problem. So whether it’s again, a natural disaster, or whether it’s a nefarious event, we wanna make sure the capability that we are bringing to bear, is gonna be part of that solution set. Slide. One of the things that I’ve found since I’ve been in this job now about 14 months, is you cannot separate homeland defense and homeland security. So tomorrow I know you’re gonna hear from the Department of Homeland Security, but I will tell you, I actually meet with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, more than I meet with the Secretary of Defense. It’s because you just can’t separate what we do from the Department of Defense standpoint and what the Department of Homeland Security does, when it comes to homeland defense and homeland security. When I look at what we’re focused on, defending our critical infrastructure as a nation, I can’t just look at it from a DOD standpoint. Or, I can’t just go look at the installations that are critically important for the Department of Defense, because our Department of Defense is equally dependent on the national infrastructure, as everybody else is. So the lens that we look through, is really the national critical infrastructure, not the Department of Defense critical infrastructure. So that brings us together with the Department of Homeland Security. We’re partnered with them and things that all of their organizations, their sub organizations that they have. We are all the way from our youngest action officers all the way up to myself, we are on a daily basis intersecting with the Department of Homeland Security and all the sub organizations within those. That becomes critically important, as we look into the future and figure out, “How are we gonna be prepared to respond?” Because we always respond as an inner agency. We don’t respond just as one organization. We respond together. And so that collaborative nature of the work that we’re doing. The timing not just in catastrophic, not just following catastrophic events, but that time that we have every single day with the Department of Homeland Security partners, becomes critically important. We also find that we can use the same models, that we use for the hurricanes, for that nefarious actor. An example that I use, was the elections in 2018. As we looked at and approached those elections, it’s important to remember, that the election system starts at the state level and it pushes up into the federal system. So we had to figure out, how do we apply some of our cyber capability within the Department of Defense, in order to help the Department of Homeland Security? And then Secretary Nielson, as she went to make sure that we had fair elections, that weren’t manipulated by any foreign entity. So as we looked at that, we said we should just use the hurricane model, look at the defense, support, the civil authorities, that works so well during a hurricane and we applied federal capability down to the state level. So we did, we took some of the expertise that resides in cyber command, (mumbles). We brought together the state National Guard leadership. We brought them all together within our headquarters. We’ve applied some high level security briefings, some understanding of what the threat actually was. We were able to provide some capability and capacity in both centers, as well as an understanding of what they should be looking for. Then all those guard members went back out to their seats and were able to have that capabilities dispersed across the US and the defense works, civil authorities model use for the hurricanes and we were able to provide the appropriate support for the elections. And we’ll use that going forward again. But again, that’s just an example of the way we were prepared to respond to whether it’s a cyber event, or whether it’s a natural disaster. Slide, please. One of the things that I find, is that it used to be the Department of Defense, led the way on technological development. And we still do in some areas. But more and more, we’re counting on the commercial world. And more and more, the research and development that we spend as a nation, is being done by the commercial entities, not just by the Department of Defense. So for all of you out there that represent companies that have done some great investment, we’re looking to partner with you and find ways that we can leverage your advancements, to help our cause, not only in the broader Department of Defense efforts, but also specifically as we apply that capability here in the homeland. Some examples that we’re seeing already, and some of the work that we’re doing on the communication side of the house. I use this as an example, I used to be a commander of our air operation center in Hawaii, a long time ago when I was a colonel. When I would bring my counterparts in from the civilian side, they would just be amazed at our capability. Amazed at our main awareness, amazed at the computers and the screens and everything that we had. Now, when I fast forward and I bring those same type people into our command centers now, they’re equally amazed, but it’s not in a good way, right? (laughing) It’s like that’s what you got? It’s not so much that we haven’t advanced, because we have. We have some great systems. But the commercial world, has just lept forward. And they’ve gone at a pace that we have not been able to do within our own command and control structures within the military. So I look at United Airlines, I’m not picking on United Airlines, I just use that as a great example. You can use any of the multiple flight command centers that are proliferated out there. The ability to command and control, different mission set, for sure. Same concept, but it’s now happening within the commercial world, is something that we need to be able to leverage. Same thing applies to response, to events that happens. How do we have our command and control of our own infrastructure? How do we understand our rail systems? How do we understand our power systems? How do we understand what is happening, our domain awareness within those systems, how do we actually push that to the right people, so that they can respond? Then there’s other ways we can really leverage, for example, I look at the commercialization of space and how that rapid reduction in the cost of the access to space, is fundamentally changing. The way that we’re gonna communicate in the future. The way our data might flow in the future. The proliferation of LEO is an example, whether it be a one web or a space x, in the efforts that you’re doing. We’re gonna fundamentally change the way that we communicate. And we have to embrace that. Not only within the Department of Defense for pure military activities, but all of us together, and how are we gonna respond to events that happen here in the US? And there’s many, many different examples that we could use for that. Slide. So let’s talk a little bit about the national response framework, really emphasizes the need for a collaboration, the need for building that resiliency together, from the local level, to state level, to the federal level and the way that it all has to come together, in a way that is effective at that most critical moment that we have. If applying that same template to all manner of crises that we might face, to me is the model going forward, that we need to make sure that we continue to do. The exercises like you did this morning and the TTX exercises that we do with the Department of Homeland Security, the exercises that we do at the state and local level, all lead to our resiliency, our culture of preparedness, so that we are able to respond in a manner that’s gonna be appropriate to the threats that we might face. When I say threats, I don’t just mean nefarious actors. It can be earthquakes, hurricanes, et cetera. So I think forums like this, in building those partnerships, building that relationship, becomes critically important. And you know when we don’t do anything together, an example that I show is the next slide, if you look at what we do right here in the national capital region. It’s a perfect example of six million people in the greater Washington Metropolitan area. And you think about all the authorities involved in protecting all the things that reside within the national capital region. From clearly the President and the White House, to Capital Hill. You have the capital police, you have the Pentagon. We have our own police force within the Pentagon. We have multiple DOD installations. We have of course the Washington police force. We have the Secret Service. We have an amazing number of folks here, to include an international airport operating and it all has to come together seamlessly. This is yet another example of how we have to work together. We have to be prepared to respond, in whatever the future might be, in ways that allow us to do so in unison and to be able to do so, in a productive way, so they’re not actually fighting, we’re not hurting each other’s attempts to actually get after what the problem is, but we’re actually helping each other. So as you look at just the microcosm of here, within the national capital region, is really essentially the same challenge we have, just spread out for the broader US. I think it inspires us to do these events, that will drive us together, so we understand how we’re gonna respond. We understand what the authorities are within each of the organizations and how they all need to come together in order to be productive, when we find ourselves in a bad day. So I would just wrap up by saying, first know that 365 24/7, we have a team, a team that is focused on and prepared to respond. A team that’s focused and prepared to respond to whatever the future will bring. That could include anything from wildfires, earthquakes, to a really bad day, when we had some nefarious actor, that might do something to harm us here in the United States. But we’re prepared, either way. We’re prepared to respond. We’re prepared to work with the local community. We’re prepared to work with the state authorities. And we’re prepared to work within the federal government, to make sure that we are able to provide the right resources from the Department of Defense at the right time, at the right place and do so in a manner that’ll allow us ultimately, as a nation, to respond to whatever the event might happen to be. I think we’ve done a good job of learning from events that have happened. We’ve had some fairly significant hurricanes over the last couple of years that have been a good proving ground for some of the things that we’re looking to bring forward. But I also know, that we can’t accurately predict exactly what the future will bring. So the work that you guys are doing today, the work that you’ll continue to do when you leave here, becomes critically important. So I thank you for that. We at NORTHCOM and Norad wanna be a good partner, so if you have good forums, that you’re aware of, that you think we can be helpful for, please invite us to those forums. And please continue to support these forums, where we try to bring in the broader community that needs to come together when we’re having a catastrophic event here within the United States. So thank y’all very much, thank you.
Thank you, General, for those valuable insights, towards cooperation and security and defense. Our conference underscores the importance of coordination and collaboration to protect ourselves and our loved ones. So thank you, General. And to US Northern Command, for your support, in proving the resilience and also in the partnership of this conference.