Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

U.S. Department of Defense

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs

Roles & Responsibilities

Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 (HSPD-7), Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection, assigns responsibilities to the Department of Defense. The DoD has two roles for critical infrastructure protection, first as a Federal department and second as a Sector-Specific Agency for one of seventeen national infrastructure sectors-the Defense Industrial Base. Within DoD, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs, ASD(HD&ASA), is assigned as the lead official for providing policy, guidance, oversight, and resource advocacy for these roles. The Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection under the ASD(HD&ASA) oversees the day-to-day execution of HSPD-7 responsibilities. The responsibilities for each of these roles are summarized below.

Federal Department

As a Federal department, DoD has both departmental and national responsibilities. Departmental responsibilities include the identification, prioritization, assessment, remediation, and protection of defense critical infrastructure. Additionally, HSPD-7 directs all Federal departments and agencies to work together at a national level to "prevent, deter, and mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit" critical infrastructure and key resources. DoD and the broader Federal government will work with State and local governments and the private sector to accomplish this objective.

Federal departments are also directed to:

  • Ensure homeland security programs do not diminish the overall economic security of the United States
  • Appropriately protect the information associated with fulfilling HSPD-7; and
  • Implement the directive in a manner consistent with applicable provisions of law.

Sector-Specific Agency

As the Sector-Specific Agency for the Defense Industrial Base, DoD has the responsibilities to:

  • Collaborate with all relevant federal departments and agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector, including key persons and entities in their infrastructure sector;
  • Conduct or facilitate vulnerability assessments of the sector;
  • Encourage risk-management strategies to protect against and mitigate the effects of attacks against critical infrastructure and key resources; and
  • Support sector-coordinating mechanisms:
    • to identify, prioritize, and coordinate the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources; and
    • to facilitate sharing of information about physical and cyber threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, potential protective measures, and best practices

DoD is responsive to the Department of Homeland Security in executing its national responsibilities. DoD's approach to executing its SSA responsibilities is detailed in the Sector-Specific Plan for the Defense Industrial Base, an annex to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.