National Interagency Civil-Military Institute (NICI), United States
The National Interagency Civil-Military Institute (NICI) is an educational institute—funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) through the National Guard Bureau—with the mission of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of joint civilian and military initiatives. To this end, it provides education to middle- and upper-level managers from the military, law enforcement agencies, emergency management and public safety organizations, and community groups. Founded in 1989 as the National Interagency Counterdrug Institute, its initial areas of focus involved border security and drug interdiction efforts, but it has expanded its course offerings since that time.
An incident along the Mexican border in October 1988 prompted the founding of NICI during the following year. While conducting a routine patrol for drug smugglers in the California desert, three National Guard soldiers and five deputy sheriffs in a UH-1 helicopter spotted a suspicious-looking parked vehicle with its lights off. As they descended to get a better look at the vehicle, they crashed into a power line, and all eight were killed. Ironically, the vehicle that had caught their attention belonged to the U.S. Border Patrol.
The tragic incident highlighted the need for greater coordination and cooperation among military and law enforcement, and in 1989, Dr. William Jefferds, former deputy adjutant general of the California National Guard, submitted a proposal to the National Guard Bureau for an institute to train individuals and agencies in joint operations. Congress approved the plan for NICI, established at Camp San Luis Obispo in California.
Among the programs NICI has added over the years are counterdrug demand reduction training, included in 1992 and expanded two years later. In 1994, NICI added a course in military support to civil authorities (MSCA), and in the following year held its first international MSCA course, attended by participants from several former Soviet republics. Following several terrorist attacks during the mid-1990s, NICI in 1997 developed antiterrorism courses, as well as blocks of instruction in community response to emergencies. It also conducts force protection level II training under the guidance of the U.S. Military Police School.
█ FURTHER READING:
Haskell, Bob. "A Plan Well-Executed." Soldiers 53, no. 5 (May 1998): 38.
"Tuition-Free, Counter-Drug Courses Offered." National Guard 54, no. 10 (October 2000): 10.
National Interagency Civil-Military Institute. < http://www.nici.org/ > (March 30, 2003).