National Level Exercise (NLE) 2012
National Level Exercise (NLE) 2012 is part of a series of congressionally mandated preparedness exercises designed to educate and prepare participants for potential catastrophic events.
The NLE 2012 process examines the nation’s ability to coordinate and implement prevention, preparedness, response and recovery plans and capabilities pertaining to a significant cyber event or a series of events. NLE 2012 also examines national response plans and procedures, including the National Response Framework (NRF), NRF Cyber Incident Annex, Interim National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP) and the International Strategy for Cyberspace.
Unique to NLE 2012 is an emphasis on the shared responsibility among all levels of government, the private sector and the international community to secure cyberspace and respond together to a significant cyber incident.
NLE 2012 includes four exercises, including a capstone exercise. These exercises share common scenario elements, planning efforts and governance structure.
The four major exercises conducted are (March - June 2012):
Exercise #1 - Information Exchange: This discussion-based exercise brings together representatives from federal, state and private sector partners, the Cyber Unified Coordination Group and others to evaluate information sharing capabilities and to build a cyber Common Operating Picture.
Exercise #2 - Cyber Incident Management/Virtual Effects: This tabletop exercise focuses on evaluating the NCIRP. Participants test the coordination, authorities, responsibilities and operational capabilities among U.S. governmental entities, partner nations and the private sector in response to a significant cyber event.
Exercise #3 - NLE Capstone/Cyber Physical Effects: This functional exercise examines challenges related to managing a cyber event with physical consequences and national security implications. This includes addressing cyber and physical interdependencies and impacts while coordinating a Whole Community response.
Whole Community approach encompasses understanding and meeting the true needs of the entire affected community; engaging all aspects of the community (public, private and civic) in defining those needs and devising ways to meet them and strengthening the assets, institutions and social processes that work well to improve resilience and emergency management outcomes.
Exercise #4 - Continuity Exercise/Eagle Horizon: This operations-based exercise evaluates the continuity capability of federal departments and agencies. A component includes a nationwide exercise examining communications capability of the homeland security enterprise under conditions in which critical systems have been degraded or lost.
In addition to the these exercises, the NLE 2012 process includes senior level exercises, building-block events (i.e., seminars and training) and routine exercise planning meetings.
Participation in each exercise is determined individually but overall, NLE 2012 participation includes the Executive Office of the President, federal, state, local, tribal and territorial department and agency officials and emergency operations elements, nongovernmental and private sector organizations and international partners.
Learn More about Cybersecurity
- Stop.Think.Connect - The Stop.Think.Connect Campaign is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online.
- Cyber Tips - A few simple tips you can do to stay safe online.
NLE 2012 is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency/National Exercise Division. Please submit any questions to the "Contact Us" page on the FEMA website.