AFCEA Homeland 2017

September 18, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Andre Hentz, deputy undersecretary (acting) for science and technology, DHS, speaks at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

Digital technology has taken on new forms and shapes at a rapid pace. Historic infrastructures are being challenged. Autonomous vehicles, banking, Bitcoin, asymmetrical financing and all the elements of the Internet of Things are in the forefront.

The challenge is how to bake in security as these things come online. “We are always interested in technology solutions that can help, said Andre Hentz, deputy undersecretary (acting) for science and technology, DHS, speaking to an audience of industry and government at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

September 15, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Chip Fulghum, deputy under secretary for management, DHS, addresses attendees at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is evolving from its early component focus to today’s mission focus, and its unity of effort and management reform initiatives serve as a foundation for continued transformation.

“One of the key things in unity of effort is we have to get it right up front," explained Chip Fulghum, deputy under secretary for management, DHS, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference. DHS must build strategy that turns into operational plans, he said, but he allowed that the Department has a ways to go. “Requirements are being built from the ground up, and we want to eliminate redundancy.”  

September 14, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Panelists discuss acquisition during a session at AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference.

Unified solutions to the government’s acquisition challenges best serve the mission, and that is how DHS, GSA and other federal agencies are making progress in acquisition and procurement reforms.

Great thinking is going on in procurement, but more importantly agencies are coming together in business solutions, stated Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer, DHS, speaking on a DHS procurement panel at AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference.

“What we have focused on is coming together as a team and integrating our functions” as part of the department’s unity of effort push, she added.

September 14, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
At the Homeland Security Conference, panelists discuss how small companies can do business with DHS.

By taking advantage of some tips and recognizing trends, small business can be more successful in contracting with DHS. A panel of procurement and acquisition professionals shared their advice to companies at AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference.

All DHS components do a forecast update for procurement for the year in the acquisition planning forecast system (APFS), and the Coast Guard takes the APFS seriously, stated Michael Derrios, senior procurement executive and head of contracting activity, U.S Coast Guard.

September 13, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
At the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, (l-r) Robert Gearhart, Dr. Douglas Maughan, Jeff Finan, Josh Wells, Bob Baxley and Michael Gormley discussed the DHS Science and Technology Silicon Valley Innovation Program.

Four startup companies came together at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference to praise their experience with the DHS Science and Technology Silicon Valley Innovation Program. This program has reduced contracting decision timeframes from 18 months or more to one day. The companies originally did not plan on contracting with the government because of its slow and onerous processes, although they each had technology of value to DHS.

September 13, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Experts from government, industry and academia participated on a variety of cyber focused panels as part of the first day of AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference.

Half of all Americans and 100 percent of the work force had their personal information compromised in the Equifax hack this summer. While critical data, such as what was stolen in the hack, requires better data protection, enhancing its protection is no longer enough. Resiliency has to be a critical capability too.

September 12, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Panelists discuss immigration policies during the FCEA Homeland Security Conference.

The president’s executive orders on immigration can be summarized in one sentence: You will now enforce the laws enacted by Congress, said Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “We have no new laws, just law enforcement. We must protect the border to remain a sovereign country,” Homan explained during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington D.C.  

September 12, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, USCG, deputy commandant, Mission Support, U.S. Coast Guard, speaks at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

The Coast Guard is under-resourced and yet is always trying to do more, said Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz, USCG, deputy commandant, Mission Support, U.S. Coast Guard, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington D.C. For example, today the service is performing its normal mission; supporting response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; and providing security for the U.N. Security Council.

September 12, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Claire Grady, senior officer performing the duties of the deputy secretary and under secretary for management, addresses the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is in the middle of responding to two unprecedented weather events, working with state and local governments. But very important for success has been the work and collaboration of the industrial sector, said Claire Grady, senior officer performing the duties of the deputy secretary and undersecretary for management, DHS. Industry has provided visibility, traceability and communications across the response area, and this shows what we as Americans can accomplish together, she emphasized.