From the thesis abstract: "This research paper reviews current emergency management capability to respond to significant incidents, both natural and manmade. In such incidents, multiple agencies must respond, manage forces, and provide critical support as a cohesive team. These organizations span the gamut of local, tribal, state, and federal levels of government and of the private sector. They include the broad range of first responders, fire, medical, and police. The unity of effort needed to provide timely, efficient, and integrated responses can only be achieved through effective command, control, and communication within and among responding forces. A unified response requires interoperable communications among all agencies, at all levels. Responders need a mechanism to track all responding forces. All responders must share a common operating picture that fuses and displays disparate data. This paper reviews current national policies, procedures, and technologies for managing large-scale emergencies. It identifies challenges and opportunities for improvement. It concludes with recommendations for implementing a nationwide interoperable communications system which will facilitate formulation of a common operating picture for first responders."