Security, Meet Standards

DoD establishes architectures to streamline its physical security equipment standards

The bombing of the Air Force housing area in the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the ramming of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen and the attack on the Pentagon using a hijacked plane are tragic reminders of the threats the military faces each day. To combat possible future attacks, the Department of Defense is increasing security measures and developing innovative anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP) equipment.

However, the continued attacks against military installations in Iraq demonstrate that terrorists and insurgents still pose a significant threat to U.S. armed services. How useful are military technological advances if they cannot be adequately secured and protected? How safe is the military without this protection? The answers emphasize the critical need for extensive physical security measures within DoD.

Taking Action
How can the government better protect its military assets? That is the question that the Physical Security Equipment Action Group (PSEAG) and the Security Equipment Information Working Group (SEIWG) seek to answer. These groups have been at the forefront of the military security world for close to 20 years. PSEAG is the central manager for all physical security equipment research, development, testing and evaluation within DoD.

SEIWG is a standing subcommittee of PSEAG. SEIWG’s mission is to coordinate and influence system architecture, technical design and systems integration of all physical security equipment to be used within DoD. In support of this DoD-wide effort, SEIWG has a multi-service membership that includes the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Air Force Electronic Systems Center 642nd electronic systems squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base in

Massachusetts is supporting SEIWG in developing a joint physical security equipment technical architecture for application to all DoD physical security equipment design and acquisition efforts. The architecture consists of three views—the operational view, the systems view and the technical view. The operational view depicts and describes the operational requirements, and the elements, tasks and activities involved in meeting those requirements, as well as information flows required to accomplish operational mission requirements. The systems view describes and inter-relates the existing or postulated system designs, technologies, equipment and other resources intended to support the operational requirements. The technical view describes the profile of rules, standards and conventions governing systems implementation.

Increased Protection
In developing a physical security equipment architecture embraced by all of the armed services, SEIWG’s primary goal envisions security systems with shortened and less costly acquisition and development phases, minimized research, development testing and evaluation duplication, increased service interoperability and interchangeability, and easier maintenance.

The joint architecture will ensure future DoD security systems, for all four military services, integrate with existing systems and with each other and minimize the need for physical redesign. This translates to increased protection against international and domestic threats at lower costs and in less time.

SEIWG is accomplishing this goal through its work across all three of the architectural views. Over the past several years, SEIWG has focused on the technical view. It has developed the joint AT/FP technical standards profile (TV-1) and interface control documents for AT/FP equipment. These technical view products will be used by all four services during the acquisition and development of future physical security equipment.

Get Technical
The technical view document, currently being maintained under contract to the Air Force, is a compilation of standards relating to AT/FP equipment. It provides a focused profile of standards and protocols currently used by all the services in the development and procurement of physical security systems, equipment and components for 2007 and 2008.

To aid program managers in assessing the relevancy of an AT/FP standard, the document provides a brief synopsis of each standard, identifies the relevant areas to which the standard applies, identifies related or companion standards, and provides links to the standard or source of the standard.

To avoid presenting a biased position and possibly influencing system developers and architecture users toward a particular commercial solution, the document does not contain any discussion of commercial products that implement the standards. Adherence to the standards presented in the TV-1 document promotes interoperability and commonality at every level of force protection.

Periodically, the technical view document will be reviewed, updated and reissued as deemed necessary by SEIWG. Prior to each issuance, the standards in the TV-1 document will be reviewed against the following criteria:

• Applicable to equipment and systems relevant to AT/FP.

• Viable relative to industry trends and technology evolutionary directions.

• Mature and used by at least three vendors in their product offerings.

• Provide one or more required components relative to the needs defined in operational views and systems views.

• Compatible with the overall set of technology being selected (integrates well with other technology standards).

• Support the directions of the DoD: netcentric, service-oriented, componentbased, and part of the global information grid.

• Not proprietary.

In addition, SEIWG also focuses on generating interface control documents to standardize the communication interface between AT/FP systems using XML 1.0, as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium. Recently, SEIWG published the SEIWG ICD-0100 document, which defines the structure and sequencing of information for communication between systems using XML. This document is broad enough to be applied to a variety of system types, although its focus is on AT/FP information exchange.

A Joint Effort
Although much of SEIWG’s work has focused on the technical view, it also has produced operational and system view products with multi-service utility. SEIWG developed a draft high-level operational concept graphic, known as an OV- 1, and a draft operational activity model, or OV-5. It also developed a draft systems interface description, commonly identified as an SV-1, a lexicon for architectural- view terminology. These products are used in the joint capabilities technology demonstration being conducted by all four branches of the military. The demonstration is part of a larger DoD effort aimed at rapidly distributing relevant, mature technology to joint and coalition war fighters.

With the maturation of these products over the next year, SEIWG anticipates that the DoD AT/FP systems for every armed force will migrate toward a cohesive architecture consisting of products from many vendors seamlessly exchanging information. Adherence to the AT/FP standards and the interface control documents will result in reduced acquisition and development time, minimized research, development, timing and evaluation, increased interoperability and interchangeability, and easier maintenance.

In turn, these factors will result in a safer environment for the military and its assets.

This article originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Security Today.

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