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Vehicle barrier system control protects entry and collects system data

St. Michael, MN, March 15, 2016 – CINCH systems, Inc. is pleased to announce a U.S. Patent* award for the Rampart VBS (Vehicle Barrier System) controls with data collection functionality.

The Rampart VBS is a high-security control and data (event) logging system for precise vehicle barrier/bollard and door/security gate management. The Rampart VBS utilizes patented End-To-End AES Encryption for secure system communication with a memory capacity to log and store 233 million entry/exit events—delivering reliable, split-second barrier activation with forensic data. 

“Vehicle barriers and bollards are used to control vehicle access to the perimeter of a high profile facility. When a barrier/bollard is deployed to prevent entry or exit, it will stop and render a suspect vehicle completely inoperable. The Rampart VBS control system is designed to fit the demand for high security in both retrofit and new installations,” says Joel Christianson, CEO, CINCH systems, Inc. “The Rampart VBS is a microprocessor control with distinct advantages over PLC controls, including: better input and output protection for longer life, reduced labor costs, lower equipment costs and easy system upgrades with no custom programming necessary. Rampart records and stores up to 233 million events [actions and movements], something PLC controls do not offer,”adds Christianson.

* United States Patent Number: 9,286,799  

About CINCH systems, Inc.    

CINCH systems, Inc. is a leading supplier of patented, high security and life safety technologies with offices based in St. Michael, Minn. CINCH systems offers the industry's leading-edge high security product portfolios including:

  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)
  • Vehicle Barrier Systems (VBS) Controls

Door and Security Gate Controls
CINCH systems products provide complete patented, AES Encryption End-To-End, secure fiber conversion, and the easiest to use touch screen interface in the security industry. Products are used to protect people and property across a wide-range of facilities for U.S. Government Agencies and Military facilities, SCIFs–Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, Law Enforcement, and Commercial Faculties. For more information call: (763) 497-1059 or email: [email protected]

CertiPath hires new Chief Operating Officer

Reston, VA, March 15 - We are pleased to announce the recent addition of Mr. Paul C. Retzbach to CertiPath as the Chief Operating Officer.  He is a vibrant leader with over 20 years of experience in the global security and software markets.  He has led teams in business development, project management, business process improvement and P&L management for many business segments in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.  He has garnered a reputation for consistently improving operating efficiency and bottom line results for companies.

He began his career with ADT Security Systems/Tyco International.  He spent many years moving quickly through their ranks holding a variety of roles last of which was Director of Operations.  In 2003, he relocated with his family to the United Kingdom where he was responsible for offices located across southern England. He eventually repatriated back to North America through Tyco's SimplexGrinnell division becoming the Regional Manager for the branch offices in Eastern Canada.

Mr. Retzbach has also worked for United Technologies Corporation (UTC), where he drove all North American operations which included procurement, Six Sigma/Lean initiatives, installation and customer services.  He then joined the privately held M.C. Dean organization just outside of Washington, DC.  He was responsible for the capture and overall program management of integrated security systems in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community markets. 

As a Vice President at Stanley Security Solutions, a division of Stanley Black and Decker, he stood up the Government Vertical Market Solution Group.  It was established to increase revenue across the multiple Stanley business units.  Most recently he served as Vice President of Customer Services for VidSys, Inc.  In this position his team was responsible for assisting in the sales capture, contract review, solution deployment, technical troubleshooting, maintenance and end user support. 

Mr. Retzbach earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland – College Park and has his MBA, with a concentration in change management, from Johns Hopkins University.  He is a certified Physical Security Professional (PSP) through the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) and a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI). 

Raytheon to offer new long-range missile for U.S. Army fires requirement

Huntsville, AL, March 16 - Raytheon Company will offer a new missile design to meet the U.S. Army's Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) requirement to replace current army tactical missile system weapons.

"Our LRPF design will provide the U.S. Army with double the combat power of its ground launchers by utilizing a new design that fits two missiles in a single launcher pod -- increasing effectiveness at a fraction of the cost of the current weapon," said Dr. Thomas Bussing, Raytheon vice president of Advanced Missile Systems. "Advances in propulsion will enable LRPF to fly faster over longer distances -- approximately 500 kilometers -- to defeat fixed land targets. This is the definition of overmatch against future threats."

Raytheon will design LRPF to integrate with the M270 MLRS and M142 HIMARS rocket launchers. The new missile's range and speed will provide U.S. Army combat units to engage targets over vast geographic space in a high-threat environment.

About Raytheon LRPF

LRPF is intended to replace current weapon systems, increasing combat power by doubling the launch pod load-out and engaging targets at approximately 500 kilometers in a faster and more affordable way than current weapons.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 94 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5ITM products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass.

PSEG is investing $1 billion in solar

People haven't thought of PSEG as a solar company, but to a growing extent, it is. There isn't a cleaner or more inexhaustible power source and we recognize how critical it is to meet the demand for cleaner energy. 

So we are following Thomas Edison's advice and have invested more than $1 billion over the last seven years in solar technology – yielding a rich and growing harvest of green energy and jobs on the path to a more sustainable future. The company has dedicated the largest part of this investment to develop or help finance solar installations in New Jersey. PSEG's efforts are playing an important role in helping the Garden State achieve its renewable energy goals – benefiting all of our customers, creating jobs and growing a new industry.

Public Service Enterprise Group is a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10.4 billion. Its operating subsidiaries are: Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), PSEG Power, and PSEG Long Island.

Kontron to show breadth of feature rich, IoT data-driven platforms at 2016 Aircraft Interiors Expo

A global market leader for embedded computing technology (ECT), Kontron delivers critical technologies that enable a new era of connected aircraft. At Aircraft Interiors, Kontron will showcase its expanding line of scalable open-architecture platforms specifically designed to enable In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity.

These innovative and application-ready products facilitate the ability to offer new and immediate revenue streams while enhancing the passenger experience. Helping airlines advance beyond in-flight entertainment and communication (IFE&C), Kontron’s feature-rich, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled solutions support efficient analytical and sensor data collection capabilities to improve airline systems and operations. The Aircraft Interiors Expo will take place at the fairgrounds in Hamburg. 

We invite you to Booth #D40, Hall B2 to see first-hand how Kontron is driving connected aircraft advancements that allow airlines to securely leverage the full benefits of IoT from the company’s 30+ year experience as a trusted innovator of ultra-rugged computing platforms. 

Kontron to showcase: 

Expanded line of next-generation avionics servers including the ACE Flight 4600 with 4G LTE capabilities and our new lineup of products: 

  • ACE Flight 904
  • ACE Flight 4608 Server
  • ACE Flight 4700 Modman o ACE Flight 2600 Server
  • ACE Flight 1600 Server 

Next generation Cab-n-Connect A100 wireless access point (CWAP) supporting Wi-Fi 802.11ac with advanced AirDefenseTM capabilities for wireless security and asset tracking 

Innovative IoT-based solutions that pave the way for enhanced security, analytics and operational efficiencies with demonstrations that include: 

  • Asset tracking and Advanced AirDefenseTM using A100 Cab-n-Connect CWAP
  • Intel RealSense 3D scanning technology that can assist airline passengers and 
  • improve operational efficiencies o Visual data streaming analytics 

Avionics services and support programs that protect investments and accelerate installation and certification time 

Where: When: Location: 

Aircraft Interiors Expo
April 5 - 7, 2016
Kontron Booth#D40, Hall B2 

About Kontron 

Kontron, a global leader in embedded computing technology and trusted advisor in IoT, provides a complete and integrated portfolio of hardware, software and services. Kontron creates many of the standards that drive the world’s embedded computing platforms, bringing to life numerous technologies and applications. The result is an accelerated time-to-market, reduced total-cost-of-ownership, product longevity and the best possible overall application with leading-edge, highest reliability embedded technology. 

Finalists for Department of Defense's top employer award named

Washington, DC, March 15 - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, has selected 30 employers as finalists for the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award (commonly referred to as the "Freedom Award").

The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the DoD to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve members. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR organizes the annual award program, which has presented the honor to 220 employers since 1996.  Each year, up to 15 awards are presented to employers in the three categories – large (500 or more employees), small (fewer than 500 employees), and public sector.

This year's finalist group is comprised of 11 large employers, 10 small employers, and 9 public sector employers.

"The 2016 Freedom Award finalists reflect the diversity in size and location of employers that provide outstanding support for Guard and Reserve members," said ESGR Executive Director Alex Baird. "These 30 finalists span the diversity of America's workforce and prove every employer, whether large, small, public, or private, can go above and beyond for our Citizen Warriors." 

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and Reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Freedom Award recognizes those employers that provide the most outstanding support for these Citizen Warriors.  This year's recipients will be honored at the Pentagon in an official ceremony in August.

ESGR received 2,424 nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.  This year's Freedom Award recipients will be announced in late June. A complete list of the 30 finalists can be found at http://tinyurl.com/h8mjomt.

New video highlights leading technology, innovative features of Morse Watchmans’ key control and asset management solutions

Morse Watchmans’ newest video titled “Think Inside the Box” tells the story of the company’s strong technology leadership and the innovative features and benefits its key control and asset management solutions deliver.

“We created this video to demonstrate the advanced technologies and integrations behind Morse Watchmans’ innovations and how these advancements have allowed us to take key control and asset management to new levels,” said Fernando Pires, VP Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans. “Our goal is to help security professionals and businesses discover the significant benefits of our high-tech systems and solutions.”

Morse Watchmans’ full line of key control and management products and systems offers secure solutions for addressing controlled usage and safekeeping of physical keys. The tamper-proof systems are designed so that only authorized users, using pre-programmed PIN codes, access cards or biometrics, can access keys. On-board advanced technology automatically records all access activity. Among the high-tech features the company’s solutions deliver are touch panels, fingerprint readers and card scanners for enhanced key and asset control and security; audible prompts to ensure proper removal and return of keys and assets; usage reports, alerts and remote management capabilities to further enhance the solutions’ effectiveness and efficiency.

Additional state-of-the-art key control and asset management functionality highlighted in the video includesconfigurability, networking and integrationcapabilities.

To view the video, visit http://www.morsewatchmans.com/company-overview-whiteboard-video or feel free to stop by their ISC West booth to view the video (booth 15109).

About Morse Watchmans

For over a century, Morse Watchmans has been known as an innovator of high-quality, cost-effective technology. Through seamless design, manufacturing and support, we earned the reputation as the world leader in security management products. Specializing in state-of-the-art key management (KeyWatcher®), guard tour (PowerCheck®) and key ring (KeyRing™) systems, our products are reliable, easy to use and expandable to meet your growing needs. Our company offers industry-leading software, service and support to ensure the effectiveness of your security investment. Contact us today and find the right solution for all your security management needs.

NTSB: Video shows tracks were ‘disturbed’ before Amtrak train derailed, injuring 32

By Steve Bittenbender

Officials investigating why an Amtrak train derailed in western rural Kansas earlier this week said Tuesday they “have made good progress” in trying to determine the accident that injured 32 people.

At a press conference in Cimarron, Kan., Earl Weener, a board member with the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators determined an agricultural truck struck the railroad some time prior to the Amtrak incident.

“Investigators identified a point of derailment 25 feet beyond the impact location,” Weener said. “Investigators obtained the forward facing video from the lead locomotive and were able to identify a localized distortion in the track in the area of the impact. The video showed the track was disturbed and shifted an estimated 12 to 14 inches.”

Weener added that fresh tire tracks were at the scene and investigators traced them to a truck owned by a local feed company. The company’s management is cooperating with the investigation.

According to Amtrak, just after midnight CT Monday, eight cars of the carrier’s Southwest Chief derailed on tracks owned and maintained by BNSF in Cimarron, located about 190 miles west of Wichita. The train, which departed Los Angeles with a final destination of Chicago, had 10 cars and two engines. The trip typically takes 43 hours to complete.

It was carrying 145 people, including a crew of 14. Of the 32 injured, 28 were released from hospitals within hours. However, two people were flown to a Texas hospital for treatment and had been listed in critical condition. Those not treated for injuries were taken to a nearby community center before getting tickets for alternate means of getting to their destination.

When the train’s engineer noticed a bend in the rail, it prompted him to apply the emergency brake. At the time, the train’s estimated speed was 60 miles per hour. After the brake was applied, it took about 18 seconds to come to a complete stop, travelling more than 900 feet before stopping.

NTSB investigators, led by Weener and investigator-in-charge Timothy Depaepe, arrived in Cimarron on Monday. Officials from the investigating team will take the train’s event recorder back with them to Washington for further examination, Weener said.

While Weener shared the revelation about the truck hitting the railroad, he made it clear that NTSB investigators would not be identifying the probable cause of the accident while they were in Cimarron.

BNSF officials plan to have the railroad back in service Tuesday afternoon for passenger and freight service. That company as well the Federal Railroad Administration, local unions and law enforcement agencies also will participate in the investigation. Amtrak, too, has said it would cooperate with NTSB investigators, and its crew members who were on board have already been interviewed.

It could take up to a year for the NTSB to complete its findings.

According to FRA data, Amtrak reported 77 accidents in 2015. That was seven more than the year prior. However, freight haulers Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and BNSF reported more than 1,000 accidents combined in 2015.

Railroad industry executives take issue with proposed federal rule mandating crews of two on most trains

Edward R. Hamberger, AAR

By Steve Bittenbender

Railroad industry officials have come out swinging against a proposed federal regulation that would require a minimum of two crew members for most operations.

The Federal Railroad Administration issued the proposed regulation on the Federal Register’s Web site on Tuesday. It gave the public two months to respond. The Association of American Railroads wasted no time. The group posted its response online the day before the administration posted its proposal.

"Safety is this industry's number one concern, but there is simply no safety case to be made for a regulation that requires two-person crews, especially where Positive Train Control is fully operational," said Edward R. Hamberger, AAR president and CEO. "Worldwide, trains safely operate with one person in the cab, including here in the United States with passenger and commuter trains and some short line freight railroads. Major European railway systems running many mixed freight and passenger trains per day have safely implemented single-person train crews.”

Even as railroads continue implementing PTC on more miles of track, the FRA said it’s concerned that even with the technology that having a second crew member on board is in the public safety’s interest. In a summary of its proposed rule, the FRA noted the deadly Lac-Megantic explosion in Quebec in 2013 happened in part because it had just one individual working on the train.

The lone worker on the train in that incident failed to properly secure a train carrying 72 tank cars of crude oil. Eventually, the train began to move on its own, rolling down toward the center of the Canadian town. All but nine of the 72 oil tankers derailed and about 25 broke open. The breaches led to massive explosions that killed 47 people and forced the evacuation of about 2,000.

“A recent catastrophic accident in Canada occurred in which a one-person crew did not properly secure an unattended train and another accident occurred in which a multiple-person crew was able to effectively respond to an accident and remove cars from danger,” the administration noted. “In addition, qualitative studies show that one-person train operations pose increased risks by potentially overloading the sole crewmember with tasks, and that PTC does not substitute for all the tasks performed by properly trained conductors.”

If a train has just a lone worker the overload of tasks can lead to reduced situational awareness, further increasing the risk for an accident.

According to the FRA, the likely cost of having additional crew members on board American freight trains would be about $27.7 million over the next 10 years.

“Preventing a single fatal injury would exceed the break-even point in the low range and preventing five fatalities would exceed the break-even point at the high range,” the FRA said in its proposed rule. “The proposed rule will help ensure that train crew staffing does not result in inappropriate levels of safety risks to railroad employees, the general public, and the environment, while allowing technology innovations to advance industry efficiency and effectiveness without compromising safety.”

Hamberger agreed that there are still instances where a minimum of two crewmembers are needed, such as on Class 1 railroads currently not equipped with the control technology. However, he thought it was peculiar that railroad regulators would seek to mandate crewmembers while the Department of Transportation, which oversees the FRA, is looking into technology for self-driving automobiles and trucks on highways.

"The freight rail industry is spending billions to automate operations inside freight locomotives,” he added. “Instead of piling on additional, duplicative regulatory costs that offer no incremental safety benefit , the government should focus on creating an environment that fuels innovation and technological advancement in furtherance of safety."

VSS Structured Capital completes sale of Navtec, Inc to Airbus Prosky SAS

Navtech eCharts EFB

New York, NY, March 10 – VSS, a private investment firm focused on the information, tech-enabled business services, healthcare IT, and education industries, today announced that VSS Structured Capital II has completed the sale of its interest in Navtech Inc., a global leader in flight operations software for the commercial aviation industry.  The business was acquired by Airbus ProSky SAS, part of the Airbus group of companies.

Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, with offices in London and Cardiff, Navtech serves more than 400 aircraft operators and aviation services customers worldwide, with a suite of high-quality, mission-critical aeronautical products and services including aeronautical charts, navigation data solutions, flight planning, aircraft performance and crew planning solutions.  In 2015, VSS assisted Navtech with the acquisition of DW International Ltd., a U.K.-based developer of satellite flight solutions focusing on RAIM prediction technology.

VSS made a minority investment in Navtech in June 2013 to refinance a mezzanine loan and buy out some equity holders through VSS Structured Capital II, a $312 million fund raised in 2009.  VSS originated the investment on a proprietary basis, partnering with majority owner Cambridge Information Group, a family investment firm run by CEO Andy Snyder that makes private investments in the education and professional information markets. 

“VSS allowed us to accelerate the development of our SaaS and Electronic Flight Bag products.  They were supportive of the company's growth initiatives and helped us think through the most efficient capital structure at each step,” said Snyder.

“Navtech is representative of our strong experience providing flexible debt and equity solutions to lower middle market businesses in the information industry,” said David Bainbridge, a Managing Director at VSS who served on the company’s Board of Directors. “We are pleased to have been a value added strategic partner to Navtech and its shareholders.”

Other past VSS structured capital investments that the firm has successfully exited in the last year include the sale of Trover Solutions to New Mountain Capital, the sale of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services to Silver Lake, and the sale of Strata Decision Technology to Roper Technologies. VSS has a long history of partnering with entrepreneurs and providing structured capital for expansions, acquisition financings, product launches, recapitalizations and management buyouts or buy-ins. 

About VSS 

VSS is a leading lower middle-market private investment firm that makes control and non-control investments within the tech-enabled business services, information, healthcare IT, and education industries in North America and Europe.

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