Homeland 2014

March 12, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The troubles may soon end for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) seven-year, $22 billion Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions II (EAGLE II) contract, and the program will ultimately be successful, indicated Nick Nayak, DHS chief procurement officer. Nayak discussed EAGLE II while serving on a panel of DHS procurement officers at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 12, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is becoming known as the “Disneyland for law enforcement” because of the facility’s extensive use of sophisticated simulation technologies, according to Sandy Peavy, FLETC chief information officer.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Many people experience a defining moment in time or an event that defines their commitment to service. For James Blasingame, deputy national intelligence manager (NIM) for the Western Hemisphere for homeland, that defining moment came in 1995 at time of national tragedy. Not long after he joined the FBI, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed. "That was my first introduction to 'homeland' and the need to stay vigilant," said Blasingame, the luncheon keynote speaker on the second day of the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The realm of cybersecurity is continually evolving and will continue to do so, indicated Tony Sager, director of programs, Council on CyberSecurity. While participating on the Professionalization of Cybersecurity panel at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., Sager discussed the evolution he has seen during his career in information technology. He began his career in communications security, which he says now sounds quaint. That evolved into information security and then information assurance and now cybersecurity. "If I'm fortunate enough to still be around in 3 to 5 years, I may be back here on a panel discussing cosmic security," he quipped.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Chief information security officials from various agencies voiced support for the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is designed to fortify computer networks across the federal government. The officials spoke out in support of the program while serving on a panel during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, Washington, D.C. Panel moderator John Streufert, director of Federal Network Resilience at the Department of Homeland Security, took the opportunity to put some rumors to rest.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Weather Service is the granddaddy of open source data, according to Adrian Gardner, chief information officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was "into big data before big data was cool," added David McClure, a data asset portfolio analyst within the NOAA Office of the Chief Information Officer. The two officials made their comments during a panel on big data analytics at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is evaluating machine learning technologies but may be ill prepared right now to adopt them, said Stephen Dennis, program manager within the Science and Technology Directorate, DHS. Dennis made the comments while participating in a panel discussion on the role of laboratories in homeland security at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, government agencies came under widespread criticism for failing to share information and "connect the dots." By contrast, law enforcement agencies were almost universally praised following the Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., both of which took place last year, pointed out panelists at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Sandra Grimes, a former CIA officer and co-author of the book "Circle of Treason," was working in the Soviet-East European Division in the 1980s when sources began being rounded up, arrested, tried and executed because fellow CIA agent Aldrich Ames had voluntarily begun providing information to the Soviet intelligence agencies. Grimes told her compelling story as the morning keynote speaker at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The real challenge to keeping the homeland secure is dealing with the world's increasing complexity, Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday during his luncheon keynote address.

March 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is only interested in mobile communication if it allows the agency to perform functions it could not perform otherwise, Mark Borkowski, component acquisition executive and assistant commissioner with the CBP Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday. "We're not interested in mobility for mobility's sake but because it allows us to do something we haven't done before," Borkowski said, while participating in a panel on mobility and interoperability.