Security, Meet Standards
DoD establishes architectures to streamline its physical security equipment standards
- By Sandra Freitner
- Nov 27, 2007
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
and part of the global information
• 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.
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.