Air Force advances five-year plan to integrate its security programs

'We want to be agnostic about the technology. A lot of the products that you'll see are standalone, proprietary products. I'm not interested in silver bullets, but capabilities.'

'Col. Howard L. Borst

The Air Force, which plans to integrate all of its electronic and base security programs under one concept of operation, recently released a request for proposals for the five-year project.

The Force Protection Command and Control Systems Program Office at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., in April issued an RFP for the Integrated Base Defense Security System (IBDSS) program. The technologies it covers include sensors, software, surveillance, integrated command and control, wireless devices, and wide-area intrusion detection and tracking.

The RFP is part of Operation Eagle Force, a program to collect all of the force protection and installation security programs in the Air Force under a single concept of operations, said Col. Howard L. Borst, program director of the Force Protection Program Office at Hanscom.

The technologies 'will be the centerpiece of [Operation Eagle Force] from an implementation standpoint,' said Jeffrey H. Thurston, deputy director of Force Protection C2 Systems at Hanscom. 'It will be the way we contract for work and equipment.'

Borst said the objective of Operation Eagle Force is seeing an intruder, understanding the threat it represents and acting before it does.

'We need to see the adversary as far away from the base as possible,' Borst said.

The program will use systems that rely on sensors, aerial surveillance systems, ground radar, cameras, handheld computers, thermal imagers and detectors, which all feed data to a central command and control system, Borst said. Two prime contractors developing and testing programs under the initiative are Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Mission Systems division and L-3 Communications Corp. of New York.

Four contracts

'All of these capabilities tied together we call integrated base defense,' Borst said.

The Air Force plans to award four contracts under IBDSS, a five-year contract vehicle for enhancing force and asset protection by using integrated base defense capabilities at sites globally.

The Tactical Automated Security System, an electronic security system that has been running at bases for years using desktop and notebook computers that show alarm conditions reported by sensors, is being upgraded to Extensible Markup Language, Borst said.

The Air Force is testing prototypes of some of the systems under Operation Eagle Force, Borst said.

'We want to be agnostic about the technology,' Borst said. 'A lot of the products that you'll see are standalone, proprietary products. I'm not interested in silver bullets, but capabilities.'

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