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Orbital ATK's Darcy McGinn appointed to U.S. Air Force scientific advisory board

Darcy McGinn

Dulles, VA, September 30 - Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced today that Darcy McGinn has been selected to serve on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). McGinn’s service will begin in late fall of 2015. McGinn is the Chief Technology Officer of the Defense Electronic Systems division of Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group.

“I am honored to be part of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board,” said McGinn. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the Air Force and I’m excited to contribute to the SAB mission.”

“Darcy is very deserving of this honor and exemplifies everything that this service stands for,” said Mike Kahn, President, Defense Systems Group. “Darcy’s work focuses on innovative and advanced solutions to protect the warfighter and we look forward to Darcy’s contributions to further the SAB and U.S. Air Force mission.”

The SAB was established in 1944 and conducts several major studies each year on topics deemed critical by the Secretary of the Air Force. It also recommends applications of technologies to improve Air Force capabilities and conducts annual in-depth reviews of science and technology programs in the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The SAB members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense and are drawn from among the nation’s leading experts in science, technology, engineering, and technical program leadership across industry, FFRDCs, national laboratories, and academia. Those from industry are typically at technical executive levels, and those from other organizations come with comparable levels of technical leadership, expertise, experience, and vision. The Board’s members must be able to contribute not only in a single area of expertise, but also on matters spanning across the entire Air Force mission. SAB members are accorded the Department of Defense protocol equivalent of O-9 (three-star general) status while they are serving on Board functions.

Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group is an industry leader in providing innovative and affordable precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition and related energetic products.

About Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.

GSN’s 2015 Homeland Security Awards Program opens today for entries

The Government Security News 2015 Homeland Security Awards Program officially opens for nominations today, once again featuring 40-plus awards categories in three broad categories: Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions and the 2015 Awards for Exceptional Government Programs, Projects and Initiatives. The Awards Program can be accessed at:


According to GSN CEO and Editorial Director Adrian Courtenay, a number of new and updated categories have been created to reflect vital new technologies and solutions, particularly in the field of IT and Cybersecurity, which has seen more threats than ever, including the well-known successful attacks on Anthem, Sony, Home Depot and Office of Personnel Management. 

Courtenay also indicated that the 2015 Program will similarly introduce new categories covering secure mobile solutions, enterprise mobile management, mobile device management, application management and many other functions of mobile aps and devices.

The cost to submit an entry in the 2015 program is $300 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. There is no cost for government entries in the categories for federal, state and local government agencies. Vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions can nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or clients, while government agencies may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

Previous Sponsors in GSN Homeland Security Awards have included ArcSight, BRS Labs, Cisco Systems, Entrust, General Dynamics C4, HP, Mutualink, NorthCentral University, Quantum Secure, Raytheon, Teradata, Vanguard Integrity Professionals, The Whitestone Group and many other prominent firms. Companies interested in learning more about Sponsorship opportunities in the 2015 Program should contact Mike Madsen, Publisher, at [email protected] or by telephone at (732) 233-8119.

Photos of previous awards receptions and dinners are available at:

www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

The exact date in November of this year’s Awards Dinner will be announced shortly.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announces $5.3 million increase in order funding to support the U.S. Army's Blue Force Tracking Program

Dr. Stanton Sloane

Melville, NY, July 20, 2015 - Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced today that its Maryland-based subsidiary, Comtech Mobile Datacom Corporation, received an additional $5.3 million of funding for its previously announced three-year sustainment contract to support the U.S. Army's Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below - Blue Force Tracking ("BFT-1") program, a battle command real-time situational awareness and control system.

“We are pleased to receive this additional funding and the opportunity to continue to provide our support for the U.S. Army.”

With this funding, the Option Year 1 of both our BFT-1 sustainment contract and BFT-1 intellectual property license contract has now been fully funded at the $25.1 million value. The Option Year 1 of the BFT-1 sustainment contract began on April 1, 2015 and ends March 31, 2016. The Company's BFT-1 sustainment contract and related BFT-1 Intellectual Property license agreement, both of which were first awarded in April 2014, now have a combined not-to-exceed value of $71.2 million. Total funding received to-date for both contracts approximates $48.7 million.

Dr. Stanton Sloane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., said, "We are pleased to receive this additional funding and the opportunity to continue to provide our support for the U.S. Army."

Comtech Mobile Datacom Corporation, a Germantown, Maryland-based company, is engaged in the provision of satellite-based packet data communication systems and location and messaging services through the use of advanced communication and network technology. To learn more about Comtech Mobile Datacom, please visit the company's website at www.comtechmobile.com.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. designs, develops, produces and markets innovative products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions. The Company’s solutions play a vital role in providing or enhancing communication capabilities when terrestrial communications infrastructure is unavailable, inefficient or too expensive. The Company conducts business through three complementary segments: telecommunications transmission, RF microwave amplifiers and mobile data communications. The Company sells products to a diverse customer base in the global commercial and government communications markets. The Company believes it is a leader in most of the market segments that it serves.

Coast Guard needs new Cutters to help enforce maritime security

By Steve Bittenbender

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security testified before a Senate panel last week that while its agencies and other countries are cooperating to ensure the safety of the United States’ maritime border, more work and equipment are essential to maintaining that security in the years to come.

America has more than 95,000 miles of shoreline, which includes land adjacent to oceans, lakes and rivers. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard officials must patrol the waters up to 200 miles beyond the shores and sometimes even further than that depending on the agreements the U.S. has in place with other countries and organizations. The vastness of the shores presents opportunities for human trafficking, smuggling narcotics and other organized criminal activities in almost any part of the country.

“Securing our maritime borders requires a layered, multi-faceted approach of authorities, capabilities, competencies and partnerships,” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter J. Brown told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on July 15. “The Coast Guard is uniquely positioned to cover this broad range of maritime border security requirements.”

One area where Brown said the Coast Guard needed additional help was in replacing its fleet of ships, better known as cutters, that patrol the country’s waterways. In some cases, Coast Guard crews are manning boats that are up to 50 years old, well beyond the norm for operating vessels. Brown said the Coast Guard is working to replace 110-foot patrol boats with faster, modern boats, with an order of eight cutters currently being filled. Those eight ships cost about $640 million each.

But, the Coast Guard’s “highest priority,” Brown said, was its need for 25 cutters that can work in offshore areas more effectively than the older boats in the fleet.

“These assets are essential to interdicting drug smugglers and undocumented migrants at sea, as well as rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters, and protecting our ports,” he added.

Because of its limited resources, the Coast Guard can only respond to roughly a third of the threats of which it’s aware. That means, Coast Guard ships may only be stopping about 10 percent of the illegal drugs shipped on open waters, Sen. Ron Johnson, the committee chairman said. However, that haul has still been substantial as Coast Guard cutters and aircraft have seized more than 450 metric tons of cocaine, worth an estimated $15 billion, since 2010.

One area that may need special emphasis is the area around the Great Lakes. While the Caribbean and the Mexican land border are known better as hotspots for drug traffic, the upper Midwest has its fair share of problems, too, the Wisconsin senator added.

“In particular, the ability of small vessels to traverse the Great Lakes and blend in with commercial trade and recreational boaters creates a challenging enforcement environment,” Johnson said in his opening remarks. “As a Wisconsinite, I can attest to this observation firsthand.”

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the committee’s ranking Democrat, added another concern is the flow of immigrants who try to enter the country through boats – either real or makeshift – through the Gulf of Mexico. Carper, who spent time with Coast Guard officials in his home state prior to the hearing, said he supported President Obama’s call for $1 billion in aid packages to Central American countries as a way to stem the tide of refugees seeking to come to the country.

Carper also added that Homeland Security organizations not only need to keep up the interdepartmental cooperation but that agencies need to be funded appropriately as well.

“Those officials also called on those of us in Congress to ensure that our maritime security agencies have the resources they need to bolster their capabilities to stay ahead of current and evolving threats,” Carper said in a statement.

Cellebrite USA

Mobile device forensics can make a difference in many investigations, but you need training that teaches you how to get the most out of your mobile forensics hardware and software, and certifies you to testify in court. Read this white paper to learn how to evaluate mobile forensics training curriculum.

PureTech Systems, Phoenix, AZ

PureTech Systems is a software company that develops and markets PureActiv, its geospatial analytics solution designed to protect critical perimeters and infrastructure.  Its patented video analytics leverage thermal cameras, radars and other perimeter sensors to detect, geo-locate, classify, and autonomously follow intruders.   This video highlights how video analytics and thermal cameras can work together for more efficient perimeter protection. To learn more, download our white paper (http://www.puretechsystems.com/BorderWPRequest.html).

House panels to markup two important homeland security bills this week

Rep. Michael McCaul

The next few days will be important ones for homeland security, as two different panels on the House side of Capitol Hill wrestle with appropriations for homeland security in the fiscal year 2014 budget as well as the desire for more comprehensive planning and more-detailed “metrics” to measure success or failure at the U.S. borders.

The House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security will meet on May 16 at 10:30 AM in room B-308 of the Rayburn House Office Building to markup the FY2014 appropriations bill.

Meanwhile, the full House Homeland Security Committee will meet on May 15 to markup H.R. 1417, The Border Security Results Act of 2013. That piece of border legislation, which is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), was introduced in Congress on April 9 and currently has 19 cosponsors.

The draft legislation is intended to require the DHS Secretary (currently Janet Napolitano) to “develop a comprehensive strategy to gain and maintain operational control of the international borders” of the U.S..

More specifically, H.R. 1417 includes key provisions that require:

  • The DHS Secretary to submit a report to Congress that assesses the “state of operational control” of the U.S. borders within 60 days of the law’s enactment, and every 180 days thereafter;
  • The DHS Secretary to submit a separate report within 120 days of enactment that lays out a “comprehensive strategy for gaining and maintaining operational control of high traffic areas of the borders;
  • That strategy document should include discussions of principal border security threats; efforts to increase situational awareness; a comprehensive plan for border security technology; surveillance capabilities developed or used by the U.S. Department of Defense; the use of manned aircraft and unmanned aerial systems; technologies at ports of entry, such as nonintrusive detection, radiation portal monitors, biometric technology and other sensors; cooperative agreements between federal, state, local and tribal governments; and agreements with foreign governments.

In addition, the legislation lays out requirements to develop a set of “metrics” that can be used by DHS and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess the success or failure of different aspects of border control at the official ports of entry, between the ports of entry, and along the U.S. maritime borders. These metrics would include the number of illegal border crossers who are turned back, compared with those who DHS has failed to apprehend; the amount of narcotics seized versus the amount that was not seized; the total number of attempted illegal border crossings; the “rate of recidivism,” and the current level of situational awareness.

Under the proposed legislation, the GAO and the head of one of the DHS national labs would also be asked to assess the progress being made along the U.S. border.

Also, the Secretary of DHS will be asked to “certify” if and when “operational control of the international borders of the United States has been achieved,” and then ask the Comptroller General (who heads the GAO) to similarly attest that control has been achieved.

One of the bills cosponsors is Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the ranking member on the panel.

ISC West Conference 2013: Peter Boriskin, ASSA ABLOY

Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management for ASSA ABLOY'S Commerical Electronic Access Control Products, indicates that he would like to describe the features and benefits of the SARGENT SE LP10 lock, which is used for federal customers, government contractors or anyone who is required to use FIPS 201 credentials or other credentials covered by government requirements.  Mr. Boriskin indicates that the typical government buyers of the SE LP10 lock have two different goals: how to meet government requirements, and how to maximize investment – taking the dollars allocated for security investment and getting the maximum reach of security for the dollar, and thus be able to meet multiple different credential requirements with the same product.  To meet these requirements, ASSA ABLOY has designed an integrated locking set that will allow the government clients to process different credentials and also to use it easily on a day after day basis, so that they don’t have to make dynamic changes. Mr. Boriskin lists these and other features and benefits of the SARGENT SE LP10 lock set.

ISC West Conference 2013: David Murphy, Zebra Technologies

Zebra’s extensive portfolio of barcode, receipt, card, kiosk and UHF RFID printers and supplies, as well as real-time location solutions, are used by 90% of the Fortune 500 and many federal, state and local government agencies to enable identification systems that provide physical and logical access control and secure workplaces. Join David Murphy, Card Business Development Manager at Zebra Technologies, as he talks about the company’s complete line of ID card printing systems that can be used over the network and in enterprise applications to create highly secure, tamper-proof ID badges. Government agencies, like many other industries, are looking for ways to protect their assets, intellectual property and networks and to prevent unauthorized access into their buildings, says Mr. Murphy.  Mr. Murphy provides details of two recent and important products from the company, both of which are FIPS 201-compliant: The high-volume, high-security ZXP Series 7™ Direct-to-Card Printer, for an efficient and economical way to produce ID badges with minimum downtime, and the ZXP Series 8™ Retransfer Card Printer, available with or without lamination to meet any application where extreme durability and high image quality are needed.

ISC West Conference 2013: Joe Troiano, EverFocus

Joe Troiano, General Manager and Senior VP of Everfocus Electronics, stresses in his opening remarks that Everfocus is a global supplier of video security surveillance equipment and is proud to announce its new GSA Contract, and he goes on to state that his intention in this video interview is to emphasize that the company can furnish users with the highest resolution recording and playback of video for any needs or budgets.  Mr Troiano points out that until very recently, when the new hi-resolution recording and playback of video imagery was not yet available, video surveillance with analog technology often could not positively identify persons at crime scenes or discourage perpetrators from committing crimes.  Today, with the new hi-resolution technology, Everfocus can deliver hi-qualify surveillance that will identify persons at crime scenes and will serve as a deterrent to criminals, because they know they will get caught in the act. Troiano discusses the Everfocus 968 recording platform, which yields 720 lines of resolution, and moves on the different levels of pixels and megapixels, explaining that “more pixels = high resolution."  And with its software, Everfocus can deliver any and all of the surveillance technologies on one software platform, anywhere in the world.



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