The genesis of the National Communications
System (NCS) began in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis when
the US, USSR, NATO, and foreign heads of state experienced communication
problems. After the crisis, President John F. Kennedy ordered that
an interdepartmental committee investigate national security communications.
After the committee recommended the formation of a
single unified communications system to serve the President, Department
of Defense (DOD), diplomatic and intelligence activities, and civilian
leaders, President Kennedy established the NCS on August 21, 1963.
The NCS' mandate included linking, improving, and extending the
communication facilities and components of various Federal agencies,
focusing on interconnectivity and survivability.
On April 3, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed Executive
Order (E.O.) 12472 which broadened the NCS' national security and
emergency preparedness (NS/EP) capabilities and superseded President
Kennedy's 1963 memorandum. The NCS expanded from its original six
members to an interagency group of 22 Federal departments and agencies,
and began coordinating and planning NS/EP telecommunications to
support crises and disasters.
In January 2000, the NCC was designated an ISAC for
Telecommunications in accordance with PDD-63. The NCC-ISAC will
facilitate the exchange among government and industry participants
regarding vulnerability, threat, intrusion, and anomaly information
affecting the telecommunications infrastructure.
Since its creation, the NCC has coordinated the restoration and provisioning of NS/EP telecommunication services and facilities during natural disasters and armed conflicts, including the following events: Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Northridge (California) Earthquake.
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