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Homeland Security

Agency Stands Watch Over Seas

February 2011
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

The convergence of threats is increasing the requirements for sharing unclassified data that address maritime domain awareness and homeland defense. The U.S. Defense Department’s Executive Agent for Maritime Domain Awareness is coordinating the requirements of combatant commands, the services and the department’s four intelligence agencies to scrutinize the gaps and seams in data-sharing capabilities and technologies. Closing these gaps and tightening these seams is crucial to protecting U.S. shores from, among other dangers, weapons of mass destruction.

Merging Threats Challenge Coast Guard

January 27, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Coast Guard is facing the dilemma of its traditional threats combining to pose a synergistic danger to U.S. homeland security. Longtime menaces such as drug smuggling, alien immigration and terrorism may be merging their organizations and their tactics to pose an even greater threat to the nation. Stopping these threats will require data sharing and consolidation. Unfortunately, even organizations willing to share information often find legal and technological roadblocks in their way. Rear Adm. (S) Stephen Metruck, USCG, chief of staff, Eleventh Coast Guard District, told the Thursday breakfast audience at West 2011 in San Diego that the Coast Guard is striving to head off threats before they near the homeland. "Goal defense" is not an effective way of stopping adversaries, he explained. The Coast Guard is working to develop new methods of detecting and identifying threats before the marauders launch their plans into action. Operation Focused Lens, for example, looks at places from where attacks may come. The goal is to detect anomalous activity before a smuggling or terrorist boat is launched. Marina operators would be engaged through an outreach program to report suspicious signs such as boaters practicing illegal activities. Combining data may be harder. Adm. Metruck allowed that many firewalls prevent government agencies from linking their databases, even within the Department of Homeland Security. In some cases, the only solution is to place people from different agencies side-by-side so that they can share views on their computer displays.

Homeland Security Goes Digital

February 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

An automated system for managing and retrieving crime-related intelligence is providing several municipal police forces with the capability to share data in a standard format. This system offers the potential for tracking suspicious activities and alerting officials to potential crimes before they occur, and this counterterrorism application has spurred the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fund its introduction at the state level.

Dynamic Research to Support DHS Chief Information Office

December 8, 2010
By George Seffers

Dynamics Research Corporation recently announced a four-year, $20 million contract award to support the enterprise architecture needs of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Chief Information Officer. Awarded through the General Services Administration Alliant contract, the work will modernize the department's information technology assets and architecture, providing for collaboration across divisions and centralizing the capture and management of enterprise knowledge. The work ensures that the department's investments are cost-effective and mission-focused and that its information technology programs and assets are well-managed to maximize their return on investment.

Lattice Incorporated to Provide Prototype Device for Detecting Large Cash Amounts

November 10, 2010
By George Seffers

Lattice Incorporated recently announced that it has been awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a demonstrable prototype device able to search for and identify bulk quantities of currency. The company has teamed with the University of Washington to research, design and develop a special-purpose concealed sensor platform specifically targeted to identifying large quantities of U.S. and Canadian concealed currency as well as Euros. In 2001, Congress criminalized the act of smuggling large amounts of cash as part of the U.S. Patriot Act.

Once Again, a Catastrophic Homeland Attack May Loom

October 27, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman

The United States may need a "dot-secure" cyber realm to protect vital infrastructure elements such as banking.

Northrop Receives Potential $2.63 Billion For Department of Homeland Security Information Technology Infrastructure

September 29, 2010
By George Seffers

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a potential $2.63 billion task order by the U.S. General Services Administration to install a campus-wide information technology infrastructure for secure communications and operations at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) St. Elizabeths headquarters in Washington, D.C. Northrop Grumman will design, install, test, operate and maintain a seamless, integrated and secure information technology solution throughout the DHS consolidated headquarters campus. The company will provide a top-level security and information platform for the department to execute its homeland security missions, including interfacing with the departments' cyber security resources.

Booz Allen Hamilton Awarded Nearly $24 Million for Biometrics Technologies

September 13, 2010
By George Seffers

Booz Allen Hamilton, Incorporated, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a nearly $24 million contract for biometrics, identity management, and homeland security technologies research and analysis for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic. 55th Contracting Squadran, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is the contracting activity.

SRC to Establish Cyber Security Operations Center for Homeland Security

September 7, 2010
By George Seffers

SRC Incorporated recently received a contract from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS-ICE) agency with a potential value of nearly $42 million to establish and maintain a Security Operations Center to help protect critical information technology infrastructure. This contract will enable ICE to monitor its information technology assets 24 hours a day and evaluate and respond to cyber security threats. SRC will lead a team to provide innovative cybersecurity solutions, process improvement strategies and best-of-breed technologies for ICE.

Fight Against Deadly Agents Expands

September 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The United States is improving its ability to respond to the ever-present threat of a chemical, biological or nuclear incident in the 21st century by establishing 10 National Guard Homeland Response Forces across the country. These units each will comprise hundreds of members who will be trained in the various skills necessary to save lives in the event of a catastrophe.


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