Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator’s Office (CICO)
About the Office
The Office of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security (OVAHS) was established to ensure the implementation of the Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP) and coordinate major interoperability activities across the Commonwealth. Within the office, interoperability is a primary concern, and planning to improve communications interoperability takes place across the various Secretariats and levels of government.
The OVAHS coordinates initiatives, communicates information, and facilitates discussion on interoperability efforts among state, local, and federal stakeholders. As the scope of the OVAHS expands over time, or as initiatives are accomplished, the responsibilities of the OVAHS may change to accommodate this growth.
Statewide Interoperability Coordinator
Prior to his appointment, Christopher I. McIntosh served as a subject matter expert for the Virtual USA program where he applied operational, and technological best practices to information sharing initiatives at all levels of government. Prior to that, he served as the Operations Section Chief at the Virginia Emergency Operations Center where he was responsible for coordinating the response to large scale incidents and events affecting multiple jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, as well as the operation of the VEOC’s Watch Center. Mr. McIntosh developed and fielded the Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response (VIPER), which serves as common operating picture for the state. Prior to joining VDEM, Mr. McIntosh was an Operations Analyst for the Navy component of the National Ballistic Missile Defense Program in Arlington, Virginia.
Mr. McIntosh served over ten years in the United States Navy, separating in 2005. He began his career as a Hospital Corpsman specializing in environmental health, industrial hygiene, and communicable disease control. After numerous assignments supporting hospital, surface ship, and fleet marine force units, he was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1999. After commissioning, he served in both the Operations and Combat Systems Departments onboard several surface ships, and conducted numerous deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle.
Mr. McIntosh is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors Degree in History. His professional education includes Naval Preventive Medicine School, the Virginia Professional Management Institute, the Aegis Combat Systems Officer course, and the National Hurricane Center preparedness course.
Responsibilities of the OVAHS SWIC
The OVAHS ensures that the SCIP meets the communications interoperability needs of Virginia’s public safety practitioners and aligns with direction from the Commonwealth and the federal government. Responsibilities include the following:
- Liaise among the local and regional public safety community, state agencies and officials, and the federal government
- Drive and coordinate the effort to implement the SCIP
- Revise the SCIP annually
- Ensure proper representation within the interoperability governance structure
- Develop and measure long-term and annual performance measures to show progress towards improved interoperability
- Coordinate the compilation of state investment justifications for communications interoperability
- Serve as the liaison between the SIEC and other groups
- Serve as a member of the Commonwealth Preparedness Working Group (CPWG)
- Pursue funding support for the effort