The U.S. government is researching technologies to help state and local police, along with public safety organizations, coordinate and manage resources and personnel in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. These applications are being selected through an interagency effort designed to provide nonfederal entities with the latest systems and equipment.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is turning to 21st century tools to solve today's crimes and move from a primarily reactive law enforcement approach to one that will allow agents to anticipate, then prevent, illegal acts. Data management capabilities will enable bureau personnel to identify relationships between cases as well as various sources of criminal activities.
International military partners are signing on and interfacing with each other instantaneously by using a prototype system that merges real-time chat capabilities with a language translator to enable cross-domain information exchange. The project addresses the need for collaboration and interoperation at the command level in allied environments.
A recently developed software application will allow organizations to design layered access systems that scan individuals to recognize facial features, voices and lip movement characteristics. The program permits the deployment of a variety of digital-camera-based devices in kiosks and stations or desktop and laptop computers to control and monitor admittance to secure areas, networks or individual pieces of equipment.
The terrorist attacks of September 11 put the nation's critical information infrastructure to the test, and members of industry, the military and all levels of civil government came away from the experience with a new sense of urgency to work cooperatively to address the challenges revealed that day. According to security experts, existing emergency response infrastructures must be strengthened, critical information infrastructures must be protected and information exchange among federal, state and local law enforcement organizations must be expedited.
By Michael J. Varner, president, Rocky Mountain Chapter
AFCEA International is the world's premier society for command, control, communications and information technology professionals. AFCEA serves some 138 chapters on four continents, and it is the individual chapter that serves the membership around the world. The chapter, with its board of directors and countless volunteers, provides the leadership and resources that really make events happen across the spectrum of government and private sector entities.
The U.S. Defense Department is counting on small businesses to support its transformation, e-government and homeland security initiatives. Although the military is known for the procurement of large weapons and information technology systems, department acquisition officials recognize that success demands the innovation and support of hundreds of smaller, yet key, firms. Enlisting the expertise of these modest-size businesses enables the department and large companies to provide for the full spectrum of warfighter needs.
The increasing use of the World Wide Web as a platform for communication, e-commerce and procurement is paving the way for a new partnership between branches of the U.S. government and the commercial sector. The government is reviewing its procurement practices and related legacy systems and merging this analysis with its plans for Internet use. Studies indicate that by 2003, 60 percent of local, state and federal agencies could be participating in Internet procurement, and online government spending could climb to more than $6.5 billion annually by 2005.
The U.S. Army is changing its combat philosophy to resemble more closely those of the other services. Instead of being the armored force that can absorb whatever an enemy hurls at it and respond in kind, the transformed Army will rely on advanced technologies to prevent an enemy from inflicting harm on U.S. forces. This new approach could include eluding adversaries and their weaponry, or striking first before the foe can bring its weapons to bear.
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command is experiencing multitasking firsthand as it strives to empower the Army's transformation while concurrently supporting combat operations half a world away. Fighting a war, developing new technologies, building in interoperability and assisting in homeland security all are part of the Fort Monmouth, New Jersey-based command's mission.