DOD reissues smart ID cards lost in Pentagon attack

DOD reissues smart ID cards lost in Pentagon attack


The Defense Department has reissued hundreds of Common Access Card identifications that were lost in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.

'There were a lot of folks who, when they ran from the building, left their wallets and other personal belongings behind and lost their cards,' said Henry C. Giffin, director of combat systems life cycle support for Anteon Corp. of Fairfax, Va., the certificate authority for the smart cards.

The Common Access Card contains a 32K chip for storing data, including a digital certificate and a private encryption key for digital signatures. The cards will be issued as ID and access control cards to all DOD personnel. Cards issued so far number in the hundreds of thousands. There are about 4.5 million cards yet to be issued.

On Sept. 17, Anteon brought a mobile office with six workstations housed in a 40-foot trailer to Arlington, Va., near the Pentagon. The unit has its own power supply and wireless communications to access DOD personnel databases. Personnel must verify identity in person to receive new cards, and each mobile office can issue up to 24 Common Access Cards an hour.

The Navy has ordered four of the mobile units and the Air Force is considering ordering 10 to 20 of them, at a cost of less than $100,000 each, according to Anteon.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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