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Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC)
Fact Sheet

History:

  • The original SIOC was created in 1989 to monitor all major events held in conjunction with the inauguration of President George H. W. Bush. It replaced an ad hoc emergency operations center that was created for specific crisis situations.

    --In November 1987 simultaneous prison uprisings in Oakdale, Louisiana, and Atlanta, Georgia, had made it clear that FBIHQ needed a permanent, and permanently staffed center that could handle several crises at a time. Accordingly, following a feasibility study by the Institute for Defense Analysis, SIOC was designed as a 24/7 command post, capable of carrying out a full range of crisis management functions by 1 medium and 1 small crisis action team simultaneously, both in constant contact with field commanders and other law enforcement agencies. It encompassed 4,000 square feet; sat 50; and had 85 built-in telephone lines.
  • In 1995, the FBI undertook an initiative to upgrade SIOC, reflecting its need to staff increased responsibilties and interagency coordination efforts that had subsequently arisen through presidential directives, federal orders, and laws. Then Director Freeh asked that the FBI have a first class operations center capable of meeting the FBI's growing mission in worldwide law enforcement and national security affairs.
  • On November 20, 1998, the new SIOC was inaugurated by former President George H. W. Bush on the occasion of the FBI's 90th Anniversary celebration. The Center's full name is the "George Bush Strategic Information and Operations Center," reflecting the fact that the original SIOC was created for and opened on his inauguration as 41st President of the United States. The Center officially opened for business when President Bush pushed the "Full Alert Button" and sent an e-mail to all FBI employees on 11/20/98.
  • Major investigations handled in new SIOC: Manila Air (1995), the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia (1996), the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania (1998), criminal investigations in Kosovo (1999), the Y2K Rollover (1999-2000), Borderbom (1999-2000), and, of course, the 9/11/2001 attacks against America.

Design and specifications

  • Approximately 40,000 square feet (30,000 for the Center itself; 10,000 for the Information Systems Support, or ISS, area); seats 380 in the Center and 50 in ISS; and 20 rooms to support operations, including briefing theaters, watch floor, and control room.
  • Equipment includes 1,110 telephone lines (35 miles worth); 60 miles of fiber optic cable; 225 computer terminals, with access to 3 LANs, FBINET, the Internet, and FBI Intelligence Information System; and 8 large video display screens.
  • Functions:
    --24-hour watch post;
    --crisis management center supporting the exercise of operational oversight;
    --information processing center.