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Mr. Davis. I would like to ask the man most involved, Mr. Martin.
Mr. MARTIN. I am Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Office of Civil Defense.
With the chairman's permission, we have a little booklet that would make quick understanding much easier of what it is we now have and what it is we propose to build.
(The information follows:)
CONCERNING THIS BOOKLET:
This booklet,"Highlights of the Decision Information Distribution System," describes a new, nationwide radio communications network proposed by the U.S. Office of Civil Defense to warn and inform citizens and public officials of nuclear attack or major peacetime disasters.
The DIDS system is intended to augment and improve the present system on which the
A Defense Department request for funds to begin prototype deployment and testing of the new system was approved by Congress in late 1970. The Office of Civil Defense awarded a $2,720,012 prime contract to the Westinghouse Electric Company for installation of a lowfrequency radio station near Aberdeen, Maryland. It is expected to be completed and ready for testing in July 1972. When it is placed in regular operation, this station will greatly im. prove emergency warning and information service to about 50 million residents in 10 eastern seaboard States, from North Carolina to Connecticut.
If the Edgewood station proves satisfactory, and if the complete DIDS system is later authorized and funded, the complete system could be in operation by 1977, at a total estimated cost of about $49 million. It would include Edgewood and nine other "distribution stations' scattered from coast to coast, two "control stations'' in Missouri and Colorado, plus other facilities. This would provide coverage for all 48 contiguous States. Special arrangements would be necessary for Hawaii and Alaska.
The Office of Civil Defense estimates that full deployment of the DIDS system, plus a possible later tie-in with home receivers, could save from 10 to 17 million additional lives in case a nuclear attack occurs; and that further expansion and refinement of the system could increase this to as many as 27 million lives.
In many peacetime disasters also, the faster and more informative warning provided by
The principal advantages of an improved new system would be:
Faster warning. Wider coverage. Greater reliability. More complete information furnished citizens. Capability of eventually including direct warning to the public through television sets. Capability of eventually integrating the DIDS system with the Safeguard antimissile system so that communities where incoming enemy missiles appear to be targeted can be given at least a few minutes advance warning.
Supersedes MP-57 and MP-57A, dated December 1970, which may be used.
One of the major objectives of our present program is to improve current warning systems in order to make possible
the maximum use of existing shelter spaces. The main deficiencies of the present combination of Federal, State
coming these problems would be to establish a number of low frequency radio stations, which would transmit the
warning messages received from NORAD through the Office of Civil Defense Warning Center to the Federal, State,
and local governmental agencies, local broadcasting stations, and military installations in their respective regions.
In order to determine the effectiveness of this approach, we have included $2 million in the FY 1971 Budget to
place in operation a prototype low frequency radio station that would cover the central East Coast area. Whether
we will subsequently want to proceed further with this program will, of course, be dependent on both the results
obtained with the prototype station and the outcome of the National Security Council study of the entire Civil
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT "POSTURE STATEMENT"
Excerpt from Secretary Laird's statement to Senate Armed
and local systems are their relatively slow response time and limited population coverage.