Madam Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify about the Technical Support Working Group, which you may have heard of as the TISWIG. My name is Ed McCallum and I am the Director of the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office (CTTSO). The CTTSO, provides full time program and business management for the interagency TSWG.
The TSWG has been operating in the background, coordinating and funding DoD and interagency combating terrorism research and development for almost 20 years. However, in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the TSWG has garnered much more attention.
As you know, last week the President announced plans for the creation of a Department of Homeland Security. The proposed Department's organizational units will focus on: Border and Transportation Security; Emergency Preparedness and Response; Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures; and Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection. These are areas in which the TSWG has significant experience and expertise. We will be working with the Administration on the critical task of unifying our homeland security functions.
Before I give you details of our post September 11th activities I would like to give you some background on the TSWG and its process.
In April 1982, the President assigned responsibility for the development of overall U.S. policy on terrorism to the Interdepartmental Working Group on Terrorism (IG/T) chaired by the Department of State (DOS). The TSWG was an original subgroup of the IG/T, which later became the Interagency Working Group on Counterterrorism. In its February 1986 report, a cabinet level Task Force on Combating Terrorism led by then Vice-President George H.W. Bush cited the TSWG as assuring “the development of appropriate counterterrorism technological efforts.”
Today, TSWG still performs that counterterrorism technology development function as a stand-alone interagency working group. TSWG’s mission is to conduct the national interagency research and development (R&D) program for combating terrorism requirements. It also has commenced efforts to conduct and influence longer-term R&D initiatives and, reflecting the shift to a more offensive strategy in the conduct of the “War on Terrorism”, balance its technology and capability development efforts among the four pillars of combating terrorism: intelligence support; counterterrorism; antiterrorism; and consequence management.
TSWG operates under the policy oversight of the Department of State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism and the management and technical oversight of the Department of Defense (DoD) Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD (SO/LIC)). Participation is open to federal departments and agencies involved in combating terrorism. While the TSWG’s funds are derived principally from DoD’s Combating Terrorism Technology Support (CTTS) Program, DOS and other departments and agencies contribute additional funds. Other departments and agencies also provide personnel to act as project managers and technical advisors.
The TSWG assumed an international dimension in FY93. TSWG conducts cooperative R&D with the United Kingdom, Canada, and Israel through separate bilateral agreements.
TSWG membership includes representatives from nearly eighty organizations across the Federal Government. A comprehensive listing of member organizations by subgroup is listed in our published Program Review Book and is also available on our web-site www.tswg.gov. These departments and agencies work together by advancing best practices in combating terrorism, leveraging R&D plans and budgets and sharing limited professional and scientific experience through participation in one or more subgroups. The following is a description of each of the technical subgroups, their mission, and their major focus areas.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures
Identify and prioritize interagency chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear combating terrorism requirements and deliver technology solutions for detection, protection, decontamination, containment and mitigation.
The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures (CBRNC) Subgroup identifies and prioritizes interagency user requirements for countering the terrorist employment of CBRN materials. The CBRNC Subgroup process identifies multi-agency requirements and technology solutions. The subgroup co-chairs are from the FBI Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU) and the Intelligence Community. They ensure a balanced program that addresses both foreign and domestic CBRN threats. Through its participation in the InterAgency Board (IAB) for Equipment Standardization and interoperability and in coordination with NIJ, FEMA and EPA, the CBRNC Subgroup integrates technology requirements from the fire, hazardous materials, law enforcement, and emergency medical services communities into its process.
Subgroup thrust areas cover the full range of CBRN incident prevention and response to improvised CBRN devices and training. During FY 2002, the TSWG CBRNC development efforts include the following areas:
Improvements in the sampling, collection and detection capabilities, the forensic analysis of toxic industrial chemicals, chemical warfare agents at low doses, and biological warfare agents in food and water.
Developments that will improve cost and operating performance of personal and building protection equipment to provide users with a small mask that can be donned quickly to escape from the immediate area of a chemical release, protect building occupants from attack and expand protection against toxic industrial chemicals.
Develops capabilities that assist responders in decontamination of large numbers of civilian victims involved in a CBRN incident.
Develops information resources and databases that assist analysts and responders in their roles in preventing, mitigating and responding to CBRN terrorist incidents.
WMD Response Training
Development of an architecture for delivery of military and civilian CBRN Consequence Management training using Advanced Distance Learning media such as web-based, interactive CD-ROM, and virtual reality via the Internet. Training materials are also being developed as part of this focus area.
Explosives Detection and Defeat
Identify, prioritize, and execute research and development projects that satisfy interagency requirements to safely and effectively detect and render terrorist improvised threat devices safe. Emphasis is placed on technologies that detect, diagnose, and defeat terrorist improvised explosive devices and large vehicle bombs.
The Explosives Detection and Defeat (ED&D) Subgroup charter is to develop prototype hardware and advanced techniques for detecting, diagnosing, and defeating terrorist threat devices as well as information and training systems that assist first responders to perform threat assessment of terrorist improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and large vehicle bombs (LVBs). These improvements may enhance the operational capabilities of the bomb disposal communities. X-ray diagnostics, IED defeat, next generation robotics, canine explosive detection and training tools are all undergoing advanced development and commercialization.
This group was recently divided into two subgroups, Explosive Detection (ED) and Improvised Device Defeat (IDD). The division provides an improved approach to meet user needs and manage detection requirements. It will help to better achieve TSWG’s long-term development goals of detection technology and focus the identification and prioritization of both the detection and defeat requirements. The chair of the ED&D Subgroup, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representative, now chairs the ED Subgroup. Representatives of the FBI Bomb Data Center (BDC) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) co-chair the IDD Subgroup.
The ED&D Subgroup focuses on detection, diagnostics, and defeat of explosive devices, with an emphasis on developing robotic capabilities and various tools and equipment for use in these areas. The subgroup also identifies the various materials that may be used by terrorists when building improvised explosive devices.
Non-intrusive technologies to detect and identify explosives in vehicles, cargo, packages, and on personnel are critical. The subgroup focuses on the following detection applications: standoff detection, short-range detection and diagnostics, marking agents, and canine research. Optical and nuclear-based technologies are being investigated to determine feasibility for standoff detection. Nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) is being assessed for personnel screening for bulk explosives. Alternate methods for manufacturing marking agents for plastic explosives are being sought. In addition, research on canine olfaction provides a better understanding of canine detection capabilities and leads to training methods and procedures that optimize canine and handler capabilities.
Once a suspect package is identified, bomb squad technicians must diagnose the item in order to apply the most effective procedure. The ED&D Subgroup strives to improve the diagnostic capabilities of bomb squads by developing advanced technologies that can be deployed remotely, operate non-intrusively, provide a diagnostic capability in confined spaces, and provide a rapid diagnostic capability for large-area coverage associated with LVBs. One such technology includes the use of a neutron-based probe, which detects and discriminates threat material from non-threat material non-intrusively. The probe provides positive identification of the type of explosive or threat material present, thus allowing the technician to perform the proper procedure on the suspect device.
After detecting and diagnosing an explosive device, bomb squad technicians must render the device safe. Existing tools and tactics must be improved to meet emerging terrorist threats that use sophisticated initiation systems and enhanced explosive mixtures. Outdated techniques could be detrimental for the bomb squad members. Initiatives to provide better precision, longer standoff distance and less energetic disruption are underway.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Operational Tools
Responding to an IED incident requires detailed coordination and planning by the Bomb
Technician On Scene Commander or Officer In Charge (OIC). Proper equipment, personnel, and resources must be identified and coordinated quickly and an operational plan with standard operating procedures put into effect. Operational tools are needed to provide the OIC with quick reference data and information to conduct a threat assessment as well as mission tactics to defeat the threat device. Specialized safety equipment for personnel protection and monitoring, and energetic explosive render safe tool storage, will be developed to support the IED response mission and increase the safety and effectiveness of the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and bomb disposal communities in performing their duties.
Remote Controlled Vehicles and Tools
With the increasing diversity and complexity of the terrorist threat, it is vital that the bomb technician conducts as much of the mission as possible remotely. The ED&D Subgroup will focus on improving the performance, affordability, and reliability of robotic platforms. These initiatives will improve the state of the art of robotic technology by developing a next generation EOD remote controlled vehicle that is modular in design, with plug and play common system architecture technology.
Emerging Explosive Threats
Terrorists use a variety of materials and mixtures when building explosive devices. The ED&D Subgroup will continue to investigate these mixtures and materials to determine their performance characteristics. The subgroup will also investigate the development of proper tools, equipment, and procedures for the bomb technician to safely and effectively defeat terrorist devices built from enhanced improvised materials.
Identify, prioritize, and execute research and development projects that satisfy interagency requirements for the protection and assurance of critical Government, public, and private infrastructure systems required to maintain the national and economic security of the United States.
The Infrastructure Protection (IP) Subgroup works to ensure the uninterrupted service of the infrastructure systems that are vital to maintaining the national and economic security of the United States. These critical systems include control systems for electric power, natural gas, petroleum products, and water; telephone, radio, and television communications systems; ground, rail, and air transportation facilities; and cyber communications networks. IP R&D reflects the multivariate threat to the complex and interdependent systems, subsystems, and components of the nation’s infrastructure. Solutions include conventional security measures plus those offered by emerging technologies. Representatives from the Department of Defense and the FBI National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) chair this subgroup.
The IP Subgroup focus areas reflect the prioritized requirements generated with respect to the critical aspects of the nation’s infrastructure. Efforts this year focus on energy, transportation, telecommunications, water supply, and information systems.
Standardized methodologies and decision aids for vulnerability analysis and enhanced protection of critical elements are required to secure the nation’s infrastructure. These include power generation and transmission, water supplies, and health services. By understanding the dynamics of complex critical infrastructure, secure operating methodologies and strategies can be developed to prevent/mitigate widespread failures due to cascading and interactive network effects. Hidden interdependencies are a strong possibility because complex linkages and infrastructure dependencies are poorly documented or understood. This research will evaluate dynamic behavior models of cascading effects, develop common standards and practices in and between critical infrastructures, and investigate system vulnerabilities to various weapons.
The prevention and mitigation of threats to computer networks is vital to Homeland Security in almost all its facets. Our society increasingly relies upon new information technologies and the Internet to conduct business, manage industrial activities, engage in personal communications, and perform scientific research. The complexity and sophistication of information technologies and their widespread integration increases the likelihood of unforeseen vulnerabilities. Unprecedented opportunities are created for criminals, terrorists, and hostile foreign nation-states to steal money or proprietary data, invade private records, conduct industrial espionage, or cause vital infrastructure elements to cease operations. This research will provide detection, prevention, response, and alert capabilities to counter such attacks and harden computer systems.
Investigative Support and Forensics
Identify, prioritize, and execute research and development projects that satisfy interagency requirements for criminal investigation, law enforcement, and forensic technology applications in terrorism-related cases.
The Investigative Support and Forensics (IS&F) Subgroup supports research and development projects intended to provide new capabilities to law enforcement personnel, forensic scientists, and intelligence operatives responsible for investigating and interdicting terrorist incidents. Representatives of the U.S. Secret Service and FBI chair the subgroup.
Focus areas include digital evidence recovery and analysis, energetic and hazardous materials examination, forensic biology and molecular biochemistry, latent print examination, questioned document examination, and surveillance technology.
Digital Evidence Recovery and Analysis
This focus area develops technology to improve the recovery and analysis of digital evidence (computer media, wireless data, and digital audio or video imagery). The IS&F Subgroup is developing a computer forensics examination system with specially configured hardware and software that can access a target computer drive, catalog the files, and identify known program executables, data files, and system software without alerting the target drive. The subgroup is also validating software tools used to examine electronic evidence and verifying their capabilities and limitations. The results of this validation will be recorded in a nationally accessible law enforcement database. In addition, the subgroup is striving to improve the investigative capabilities associated with pervasive computing (the linking of computer processors, networks, and data repositories with “smart” devices such as personal digital assistants and cell phones with wireless modems).
Energetic and Hazardous Materials Examination
The IS&F Subgroup is developing advanced technologies pertaining to the recovery and detection of explosive residues of explosives in post blast debris. Current projects will develop methods to analyze and interpret difficult post-blast debris where high concentrations of extraneous materials are mixed with the low-level traces of explosive residues. Current projects will also develop improved methods for characterizing improvised explosive devices from macro-effects at post-blast scenes.
Forensic Biology and Molecular Biochemistry
This area focuses on development of techniques for recovering and analyzing DNA on material and surfaces to support forensic investigations and intelligence operations. The objective of evidence source determination is to develop techniques for the rapid analysis of stable isotope ratios at natural abundance levels for forensic applications.
Latent Print Examination
The IS&F Subgroup continues to make significant progress in latent fingerprint recovery methods. Current projects will develop more robust, less expensive, more sensitive, and environmentally-safe physical developers and visualization techniques for fingerprints; provide new technologies involving DNA recovered from fingerprints; determine the genetic basis and statistical significance of specific print features; strengthen the forensic defensibility of latent print evidence; employ digital imaging technologies to examine latent prints; and characterize and understand the chemical content of latent prints.
Questioned Document Examination
The IS&F Subgroup is characterizing the variation within a person’s handwriting and proving the uniqueness of each person’s handwriting through scientific analysis. The subgroup is also developing an automated system for the forensic examination and identification of suspect handwriting and documents.
This focus area develops advanced technologies for marking moving or stationary targets with invisible marks that may be imaged remotely, day or night, with ultraviolet or near-infrared image intensifiers supplemented by either ambient or induced illumination. Special application beacons, advanced ultraviolet optical lenses, and special application chemical tags are also under development.
To develop unique equipment and systems to alert and prevent attacks on VIP protectees. This includes hardware and tools that provide security to both the VIPs and their protectors. Inherent in this development is additional emphasis on life safety and emergency response equipment.
The Personnel Protection (PP) Subgroup focuses on the development of prototype hardware, personnel protection equipment, and diagnostic and reference tools and standards that will support greater security for VIPs who are highly visible in public environments and thus subject to terrorist attempts on their lives. In order to be effective, personnel who are charged with the safety of these VIPs must also have protective equipment that will prevent injury and tools that will improve their effectiveness. These developments benefit the operational effectiveness of federal, state, military, and local law enforcement personnel who are charged with the protection of VIPs as well as those who are engaged in the protection role. These technologies and tools also have application to protection of law enforcement and military personnel who engage in hazardous combat-like environments.
The major focus areas of the PP Subgroup are enhancing vehicle protection, improving transparent armor, developing enhanced body armor, and providing measures for dealing with sniper attacks.
Vehicle Protection and Performance
Develop technologies related to the performance, security, integrity, and armoring of fully armored passenger vehicles, including projects that provide added safety to passengers during sniper or blast attacks.
Identify and design tools for advanced lighter weight transparent armor that will provide improved protection over existing technology.
Enhanced Body Armor Development
Improve performance of body armor, including advanced methods to evaluate the performance of armor under varying threats. Evaluate methods to develop improved body armor and standards that will result in greater effectiveness of body armor for the users.
Counter Sniper Measures
Evaluate and develop technologies that will provide indications, warning and protection of VIPs from sniper and remote attacks.
To identify and execute research and development projects that satisfy interagency requirements for physical security support to protect personnel, equipment, and facilities against terrorist attack.
The Physical Security (PS) Subgroup identifies the physical security requirements of federal agencies, both within the United States and abroad, and develops the technology to protect their personnel and property from terrorist attack. The subgroup develops this technology by creating prototype hardware, software, or systems for technical and operational evaluation by user agencies. A representative from DoD chairs this subgroup.
Building construction and retrofit techniques are being developed that will result in better protection of people and facilities from terrorist bomb blasts. The Blast Mitigation program includes extensive research and testing of building construction and retrofit techniques that concentrate on the following key areas: progressive collapse — the leading cause of fatalities; and window and wall debris — the leading cause of injuries. The techniques are laboratory-tested and then field-tested at operational sites. New construction standards are being written to incorporate the methods developed through blast testing and analysis. While these standards are under development, engineering technical letters provide immediate guidance to engineers in the field on how to retrofit and construct buildings for improved blast protection.
Entry Point Screening
The detection of explosives, chemical and radiological material, weapons, and other contraband at entry points by U.S. security forces is being improved using multiple technologies, methods, and techniques. The Entry Point Screening Program is a comprehensive program that focuses on development and testing of new technologies in five main areas of screening: personnel, vehicles, vessels, cargo, and mail. The primary concern is protecting people and facilities against large vehicle bombs. This area focuses on creating and field-testing prototypes that require a minimum number of persons to operate, are easy to use, and are effective in detection.
Advanced perimeter protection technologies will provide improved perimeter intrusion detection and specialized barrier capabilities. The creation of new technologies will focus on sensors and barriers that can be integrated with existing intrusion detection systems (IDS), and are fixed or deployable depending upon user requirements. A major goal of this task is to identify IDS with a high probability of detecting intruders, exceptional ability to filter out false alarms and operate continuously with high reliability, and which require low maintenance. Barrier systems must deter or prevent a breach of perimeters while demonstrating a high degree of reliability and requiring a minimum amount of maintenance.
Surveillance, Collection and Operations Support
To identify and pursue technical solutions supporting intelligence gathering and special operations directed against terrorist activities.
The Surveillance, Collection and Operations Support (SC&OS) Subgroup identifies high-priority user requirements and special technology initiatives focused primarily on countering terrorism/offensive operations. The research and development projects supported by this subgroup include reducing the capabilities and support available to terrorists and enhancing U.S. capabilities to conduct retaliatory or preemptive operations. A representative from the Intelligence Community chairs the subgroup.
Specialized Equipment for Surveillance and Intelligence Collection
Success in countering terrorism often depends on the quality of intelligence collection. These programs include improving capabilities for the covert collection and enhancement of video, imagery, and audio surveillance.
Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)
The means to locate, identify, and track terrorists and terrorist activities is extremely critical. C4ISR programs focus on developing and improving that ability through such innovative programs and initiatives as tagging, tracking and locating; special sensors; and covert communications.
Search and Recognition Systems for Terrorist Groups and Individuals
The purpose of these programs is to develop automated tools for identifying terrorists through biometrics, pattern recognition, and database (e.g., personal information) technologies.
The purpose of these programs is to develop information operations (IO) tools and weapons to degrade, disrupt, deny or destroy adversary information and information systems.
Tactical Operations Support
To develop equipment and systems to support specialized force offensive operations directed against terrorist activities and groups; to make non-sensitive prototype hardware available for commercial production to assist military base commanders, state, and local enforcement agencies.
The Tactical Operations Support (TOS) Subgroup supports tactical operations against terrorists, particularly offensive operations by specialized forces trained for assault operations. The subgroup supports technology development activities, which provide a foundation for subsequent advances, and the development of prototype special equipment designed to facilitate more effective execution of various tactical missions. The principal users of the technology developed by this subgroup include Military Special Forces, DOE security teams, and the U.S. Secret Service. A representative of DoD chairs this subgroup.
The focus areas of the TOS Subgroup are advanced imaging systems, specialized access systems, chemical and radiation detectors, tactical offensive systems, and communications systems.
Advanced Imaging Systems
The development of advanced optical systems to provide improved imaging in night and obscured viewing environments.
Specialized Access Systems
These include systems that will enhance access to tactical objectives and improve tactical efficiencies in assault operations.
Chemical and Radiation Detectors
The development and evaluation of small, rugged chemical and radiation detection systems for use by specialized teams in tactical environments.
Tactical Offensive Systems
This area includes unique equipment for use in special operations tactical missions.
Tactical Communications Systems
Unique communications systems and capabilities used in special operations environments that are developed with special consideration for the assault team’s environments.
TSWG Program Funding
Funding for the TSWG program has increased significantly in the past decade, from $8 million in FY 1993 to over $80 million in FY 2002 to date. This increase reflects the increasing concern over terrorist activity and the recognized need to accelerate the development of technology to effectively address the problem. The Department of Defense provides the bulk of funding for TSWG activities. The Department of State contributes annually to TSWG core funding, while other departments and agencies share the costs of selected projects.
Each year we convene a full meeting of TSWG members and receive current threat briefings from the intelligence community. This sets the stage for our requirements identification process. Over the month following the threat briefings, the subgroups identified above meet to identify and prioritize requirements. The highest priority requirements are then “advertised” and potential solutions sought.
TSWG uses a Broad Agency Announcement for unclassified requirements to maximize competition in our search for the best possible developer for each requirement. In FY 2001 CTTSO published five BAAs. We find that BAAs are ideal for our type of R&D because we have large numbers of requirements across broad technology areas yet have insufficient detail for to write detailed specifications. This leads to a wide variety of contracts. In FY 2001, TSWG funded more than 120 performers in 34 states.
The TSWG BAA process has been evolving for more than six years. In the beginning the process was paper intensive and required tens of thousands of photocopies and hundreds of over-night mail packages. This invariably slowed the review process. Industry was not well educated on the requirements of the combating terrorism community and submissions often failed to meet requirements. Furthermore, many performers did not frequently read the Commerce Business Daily and were sometimes not aware of our solicitations. We have taken several steps to correct these and make other improvements.
Our requirements are written to describe a required capability instead of a desired technology.
Our first phase submissions are only one page. This minimizes the amount of time required for the vendor to prepare a submission and for the reviewer to complete the initial review. Several years ago we awarded a contract based on a BAA submission from a company in Arizona. That company submitted approximately 20 of the one page “quad-charts.” Only one was contracted for. The vendor told us that had they been required to submit more than a “quad-chart” they would have submitted far fewer responses and that they would not have included the one that was actually awarded. This submission developed an innovative weave for body armor that at the time was nearly 30% lighter than existing armor systems. That proposal was funded and the system has been commercially available for the last three years.
We use a commercially secure web-based system for solicitation, submission, review, and vendor notification. The system is known as BIDS and stands for BAA Information Delivery System. It is located at www.bids.tswg.gov. All solicitations from this page are simultaneously published in FEDBIZOPS. This system allows users worldwide to participate easily. The “vetting” process has multiple levels of “review” for every submission.
Level 1 - any interested reviewer is able to provide comments.
Level 2 - a designated “Task Manager”, prepares a consensus review of all Level 1 reviews.
Level 3 – a program manager prepares a summary review of all requirements under their cognizance with consideration to all potential contracts and the allowed budget.
Level 4 – the Director/Deputy Director reviews based on office wide priorities and ensure intra-office coordination.
Level 5 – the contracting officer provides a final review and then notifies the submitter of the results.
Prior to each solicitation an e-mail is sent to all registered users of BIDS to notify them that a new BAA is about to be published.
We hold an Advanced Planning Brief to Industry where we “pre-release’ the BAAs and provide briefings on the requirements to be published. The briefings allow potential submitters to ask questions, get technical clarifications and meet our staff as well as form potential partnerships with other vendors. More than 1000 vendors attended this year’s APBI.
We treat all potential performers the same manner. By this I mean that anyone “competing” for our program dollars cannot act as a reviewer. This includes DoD and DOE laboratories and FFRDCs. We do this to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Last October, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (DUSD (AT&L)) requested the TSWG issue a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) soliciting innovative ideas to support the Global War on Terrorism. He came to the TSWG because of our track record of many years of issuing BAAs in the field of combating terrorism. The solicitation was published on October 23rd and received a great deal of media attention. The response from industry, academia, and the public was overwhelming. The BAA was “open” for 60 days, the BAA was downloaded more than 70,000 times, our “registered vendors” list grew from about 300 to more than 10,000, and 12,500 submissions were received. These submissions received full reviews by technical experts and 627 submitters were asked to submit detailed “white papers” on their ideas. Based on an additional $34M provided by DoD specifically for this effort, we expect to award approximately 50 contracts. Full proposals will be requested for those efforts. In addition, TSWG is working with other agencies to identify funds that might be applied to other promising submissions. To date, we have identified approximately $5M of additional funds.
Since that BAA was published in response the DUSD (AT&L) request, TSWG issued two additional BAAs as part of its normal business cycle. These two BAAs generated an additional 2000 responses. We plan to apply approximately $20M to these efforts from our FY 2003 appropriation.
Our FY 2001 BAA identified a local Germantown firm, GEOMET, as the best technical solution to a requirement identified by the Department of Agriculture. They needed a system to dispose of large numbers of animal carcasses in the event of a mass disease breakout such as the Hoof and Mouth disease experienced by the United Kingdom recently. This contract has been awarded and the effort is well underway.
The TSWG process seeks to constantly improve and we solicit feedback from not only from our management and our users but also our developer community.
The following are a few examples of successful tasks from the TSWG portfolio. The majority of these efforts were awarded via previous BAAs.
Support to Federal, State and Local Bomb Squads
Federal, State and Local Bomb Squads are required to have certain equipment to meet FBI accreditation requirements. This includes a protective Bomb Suit, a bomb disruption tool, portable diagnostics capability, and a set of working tools.
- TSWG, the FBI, and Sandia National Laboratory developed the PAN Disrupter several years ago to provide a render safe tool for Bomb Technicians to defeat Improvised Explosive Devices. This tool is the standard disrupter used by over 400 bomb squads throughout the United States. It will soon become the standard disrupter for the military.
- The Real-Time Radiography (RTR), a portable x-ray system developed through TSWG, the US Postal Service and SAIC has revolutionized the process of IED X-Ray. Diagnostics, giving the operator the capability to conduct real-time threat assessment and diagnostic interpretation from a safe distance. The FBI is providing a system to each accredited bomb squad and the military EOD community has procured over 700 systems.
- TSWG conducted technical evaluations of bomb suits against various explosive, chemical, and biological terrorist threat devices to document the effectiveness of these protective systems. The FBI has procured one of these systems for all accredited bomb squads.
Emergency Response Training Broadcasts
Since August 2000, the Saint Petersburg Junior College in cooperation with DOJ, FEMA the National Guard, TSWG has been managing the delivery of training to civilian and military responders. “Consequence Management News, Equipment, and Training (CoMNET)" is a news magazine format recurring broadcast offering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) related awareness information to the Nation's civilian and military emergency response communities. “CoMNET” addresses this topic by presenting WMD specific news, equipment, and training segments and feature stories that are structured around training objectives and interests expressed by the Federal, State, and local response communities. "Live Response" is a recurring broadcast program that offers awareness information to civilian and military emergency response communities in a 60-minute live discussion panel in which members of the Federal, State, and local response communities explore topics related to WMD consequence management and engage in question and answer sessions with the program audience. The most recent broadcast reached an estimated 15,000 first responders from all 50 states and military responders around the world. “CoMNET” and "Live Response" are broadcast monthly via satellite, cable, the Internet, and private computer networks is capable of reaching approximately three million.
First Responder Biological Sampling Kit
After the recent anthrax attacks, investigators were called to perform surface sampling over large areas such as air ducts and office spaces. However, sampling technology had advanced little beyond a cotton swab. This newly developed system was delivered to the Capitol Police in the first days of the contamination and proved easy to use while wearing gloves. The samplers release the agent easily for analysis, come in larger sizes for sampling large areas, and have more than a 20-fold collection efficiency increase. The first prototype of sampler has already been delivered for field trials and was used at several of the anthrax-contaminated sites. Perkin-Elmer developed this system.
Palmtop Hazardous Material Information Tool
“When responding to a terrorist chemical attack or a HAZMAT accident, speed means life if you’re evacuating or sheltering people caught in the immediate vicinity or downwind. The Palmtop Emergency Action – Chemical or PEAC puts the essential response information in the user’s fingertips in seconds. TSWG worked with a private company to increase the capabilities of their previously developed PEAC. The system provides plume modeling, required personal protective equipment, chemical properties, and other technical data. The system was deployed to U.S. forces and embassies in the Persian Gulf in May. Aristatek developed this system.
Chemical Biological Response Aide
The Chemical Biological Response Aide (CoBRA™), developed by Defense Group International, is an emergency response software package that provides a combination of electronic data resources, interactive search tools, decision aids and approved checklists and guidelines for responders to incidents of all types. It is intended for use by fire departments, HAZMAT teams, law enforcement agencies, forensic examiners, emergency medical personnel, and emergency managers. CoBRA is currently fielded with the numerous Federal, State and Local response agencies and the FBI has initiated a procurement action for 700 units.
Vulnerability Assessments for Dams
Commercial energy facility operators and some federal agencies have found themselves inexperienced and at substantial risk in today’s terrorist threat environment. This was particularly true in the case of dams and hydropower generation facilities. Capitalizing on the DOE’s expertise in nuclear risk assessment, the TSWG arranged for the modification of a DOE methodology to suit the unique circumstances of dams and dam operators. The result was a set of tools for both the training and use of this tailored risk assessment methodology. It is currently in use by the Bonneville Power Administration, the Bureau of Land Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Automation of the methodology and extension of it to include bridges, tunnels and transmission lines is under consideration.
Fingerprint Recovery Techniques
TSWG and one of our international partners have jointly developed several new fingerprint recovery techniques. Using these techniques investigators were able to recover prints from several key pieces of evidence that in one case identified an assassin and in another led to the capture of a terrorist prior to an attack against civil aviation.
Entry Point Screening
Screening large vehicles for the presence of explosives or contraband is a difficult and time-consuming task. Leveraging work performed for drug detection, TSWG in cooperation with US Customs the DoD Counter Drug Technology Office, and SAIC developed a system that uses gamma ray technology to locate hidden explosives in vehicles and cargo. This system is deployed in European Command. The U.S. Army has initiated procurement for approximately 50 additional units that are being assembled by SAIC in San Bernadino, CA, A similar system developed in a leveraged effort with DoD, Customs, and American Science and Engineering. This system uses transmission and backscatter x-ray to inspect vehicles. It is currently in use in the Central Command area of operation. Sometimes a lower technology approach is required. Working with US Customs we developed the VIC or Vehicle Inspection Checklist. It provides step-by-step instructions for searching vehicles for threat materials. More than 30,000 have been delivered to civilian and military security forces worldwide.
Since 1996 TSWG has sponsored an interagency blast mitigation research program designed to minimize damage to critical public structures and reduce casualties from a terrorist explosive attack. Managed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, this program has resulted in numerous improvements to government facilities and the dissemination of information regarding structural hardening and retrofit techniques. Technologies developed in the program have been installed in several embassies and DoD sites including the Pentagon. The wedge struck on September 11th by AA Flight 77 had received some of the retrofits developed and tested under this program. Many have credited these retrofits with saving lives during the attack.
This testing program has included the standardized testing of blast mitigation products such as mylar film and wall-debris catch systems. The data is available to registered users via a web page.
We have learned through our blast mitigation testing that the leading cause of death in bomb blasts is progressive collapse of building columns and that the leading cause of injuries is glass and wall fragments. As a result, we have concentrated most of our efforts on finding ways to prevent fatalities and serious injuries by improving building design and developing retrofit techniques.
Several years ago a firm in Rockville MD, Cellmark, under contract to TSWG developed and demonstrated a new method of DNA recovery that was so effective it could recover DNA from a licked stamp after a letter bomb had detonated.
In closing, TSWG constantly strives to improve our performance in delivery of combating terrorism technologies to the broad spectrum of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen as well as law enforcement, emergency management and intelligence personnel, both federal and local, who are fighting this war on terrorism. We are proud of our track record of delivering quality products to our customers that make a difference in both their readiness posture and operational response. We are also proud of our leading edge business practices that ensure we identify the best technical solutions to challenging operational requirements in a timely manner and at reasonable rates. This concludes my prepared remarks. I would be happy to answer any questions.