June 17, 2004
Members will hear testimony on will hear testimony on technological advancements to enhance border security. Senator McCain will preside. Witnesses will be announced at a later time.
The Honorable Jim Kolbe
I would like to begin by thanking Chairman John McCain, Ranking member Ernest Hollings and their fellow committee members for allowing me to be here today to speak about an issue so critical to my district, border security. I would like to begin by discussing some of the problems residents face along the border, followed by what I see as a solution to the current lack of enforcement within the border region. Finally I would like to close by touching on the Arizona Border Control Initiative and discuss why we need to not only implement this program in a more progressive and aggressive manner, but also look for a more border-wide approach to securing our nation. Illegal immigration is a reality of life along the border. Every day residents of the border region deal with people trespassing on and destroying their property as well as degrading their precious environmental resources. Many live in constant fear of what may happen next. Millions of people are crossing our borders illegally every year. We have no idea who most of these people are or what they are here for. According to some studies, 99% of those crossing the border do not come with criminal intent, but are merely looking for work. However, this means approximately 38 thousand people with criminal records are entering our country every year. Border Security is an important issue to all people in United States, but is of particular concern to those living along the border in Arizona. For too long Arizona has been this nation’s doormat for illegal immigration In April, Senator McCain and I introduced the Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration Act of 2004. This legislation attempts to address security gaps in our border infrastructure by establishing two new border technology pilot programs for aerial and ground surveillance. The nation’s southern border is desolate and large and only through advancing our surveillance technologies can we truly monitor what is happening along its most remote regions. To ensure that this technology continues to be improved and developed, our legislation also authorizes funding for the Office of Science and Technology within the Department of Homeland Security. I’m sure that this Committee is well aware of the many aspects of the Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration Act, but today I would like to specifically speak to a provision in the bill regarding accounts for field offices to develop their own border enforcement technologies. I think everyone here can agree that those that actually work on the border have the best idea of what is needed to protect the border. Many of the most advanced and effective technologies have been developed on the field office level in my own state of Arizona. One such example is the Customs Automated Operations System (CAOS). This system allows field offices to plan and keep records of operations. It also serves as a communication devise to allow Command and Control to be at every port of entry along the border. This allows Command to simultaneously set enforcement posture for every single port within a region. This was an important tool used on September 11th when all ports of entry needed to implement heightened security procedures during a busy and frantic day. I am proud to say that this technology was developed in Tucson, Arizona and is currently being used at all ports along the Southern border and fifty percent of ports along the northern border. A second technology first used in Arizona is the Video Surveillance System. This system allows the border patrol to keep digital records of all who are coming and going through our border ports. It also enables DHS to exchange data with States and appropriate law enforcement agencies. This system is of particular use with stolen car operations which are prevalent in the Arizona border region. Currently the Video Surveillance System is used at all ports along the southern border and 50 ports along the northern border. Other technologies under development in Arizona include quantitative tools for understanding inbound traffic, secure wireless devices designed to allow agents to access the agency database from anywhere they may need to, and an airbag detection devise to enable officers to identify whether smugglers are using airbag space for smuggling without deploying the airbag. It is vital that field offices are allowed to develop these technologies without having to use personal funds or their own limited resources. That is why we included small, personal accounts for each field office to be used directly to develop these vital and advanced technologies along the border. Finally, I would like to speak briefly on the Arizona Border Control Initiative. In March I was pleased to join DHS Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson in announcing the Arizona Border Control (ABC) initiative. ABC was supposed to add UAVs, helicopters, $1 million for new sensor technology to assist in surveillance and detection of illegal aliens, as well as over 200 new agents to the Arizona sector. Sadly, I am disappointed in progress being made to implement these programs. The UAV program has been delayed multiple times and only a fraction of the agents promised have been transferred. It is vital that we expedite the process of implementing all aspects of the ABC initiative while exploring a real, border wide approach to security. The ABC initiative is only one step in solving the problems along the border. The border is a balloon, if you enforce one area, people stream in through another. We need to look for a more comprehensive approach. However, in the mean time, we must work to secure the Arizona border, an area that has been suffering for many years. Again, thank you for allowing me to be here today. I look forward to working in both Houses to secure the Arizona and our nation’s borders
The Honorable John Kyl
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Hollings, and fellow Senators, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify about border security, a topic that is extremely important to the people of Arizona. Chairman McCain, Representative Kolbe, and I have all worked for years to ensure the security of the 361-mile Arizona-Mexico border and all of the United States’ borders. As Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, and after many hearings, I have concluded that the only way to secure the border is to increase both border and interior manpower and technology, and to enforce all U.S. immigration laws. All of our hearings on the subject have underscored how important technology is to ensuring full enforcement of counter-drug, counter-terrorism, and immigration laws in this country. The bottom line message that must be articulated at this hearing is the help that additional technology and equipment can provide. Arizona has received more personnel and technology over the past seven years, but that has not proven to be enough. More illegal immigrants cross the Arizona border than in any other state in the U.S. Whether it is in Arizona’s interior, the vast Yuma sector, the Douglas or Nogales areas or the Tohono O’odham Reservation, more resources are needed. The damaging effects of illegal border crossings are unacceptable. Referring just to environmental damage, for instance, I know that individuals who cross into the United States illegally through the Tohono O’odham Nation leave what amounts to six tons of trash on Tohono O’odham land each day. There is damage to life and property. Remember, too, that there is the possible devastation of another terrorist attack if a terrorist is able to cross the border into the U.S. Mr. Chairman, you, Representative Kolbe, and I know from our trips to Arizona’s border with Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Asa Hutchinson and others in the past few years, how serious these problems are. We also know that getting the resources we need takes repeated meetings, messages, hearings, and phone calls. I applaud your dedication to the issue, and appreciate your holding this hearing today. Effective enforcement of U.S. immigration laws both at the border and in the interior, requires the use of every possible type of technology available, and every additional manpower increase we can possibly get. I am pleased that the Border Patrol has increased from around 4,000 agents in 1996 to around 11,000 today. The number in Arizona has also risen during that time from around 750 to 2,345, and that level will be increased by another 200 when the Arizona Border Control Initiative is fully implemented sometime this summer. The number of Customs inspectors and agents has also increased significantly in recent years. In order to efficiently perform their jobs, these Department of Homeland Security personnel need the additional equipment that we will discuss today -- truck-sized x-ray machines that the Customs Service will use to detect illegal drugs and other contraband and even bio- and other terrorist materials -- unmanned aerial vehicles -- entry-exit technology that will fully implement the US-Visit program -- the machines needed at ports of entry to read the biometric identifier contained in a microchip embedded in a passport -- and of course, a list of other technology priorities included in the legislation introduced by Senator McCain, myself, and our colleague, Representative Kolbe, in the House. The Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration Act of 2004, S. 2295, is a great step forward in getting the right technological resources in place to secure our border. The bill requires a pilot program to explore the use and feasibility of aerial surveillance technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles, to locate individuals who may be trying to smuggle other humans or even terrorist-related goods across the border illegally. S. 2295 also calls for a study of the technology and personnel needed to guarantee that the Customs Service and the Border Patrol have adequate resources to effectively protect the border, and a study of the optimal Border Patrol strength required to secure both the northern and southern U.S. borders. In addition, S. 2295 requires DHS to develop a plan, along with other federal, state, local and Tribal agencies, to ensure coordination among those agencies in any situation that calls for response by law enforcement, emergency teams, or border security officials. Technology is already being used, and continues to be developed, to secure our borders. One legislatively required use of border security technology is the U.S-Visit program. U.S.-Visit uses biometric identifiers to ensure that an individual attempting to enter the U.S. at a port of entry, is the same individual who was given access to the country through the issuance of a U.S. visa. The system tracks the entry and exit of each individual so that we will know who has overstayed his or her allocated visa time period. At the end of September, citizens from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program will also be subject to U.S.-Visit requirements. In the U.S.-Visit program, digital fingerprints and photographs are taken at the time that a foreign national applies for a U.S. visa. The fingerprints and other collected biographical information are checked against databases of known criminals and suspected terrorists to make sure that the individual is not an initial threat to the U.S. When the individual attempts to enter the U.S. using the visa, his or her fingerprints are taken again to verify that the person at the port of entry is the person who was issued the visa. According to DHS, this biometric check in U.S.-Visit has already identified almost 580 known criminals and almost 200 suspected terrorists attempting to enter the United States. I am encouraged by the progress that DHS has taken toward U.S.-Visit’s full implementation in the time since 9/11. Already the entry portion of U.S.-Visit is operable at 115 U.S. airports and 14 U.S. seaports, and it is scheduled to be operable at the 50 busiest U.S. land ports of entry by the end of this year. As Under Secretary Hutchinson told me on Tuesday at a Judiciary Committee hearing, currently only roughly 25 percent of all visitors to the United States are entered into U.S.-Visit, but DHS is on schedule to finish the development of a comprehensive implementation plan by the end of 2005. I am pleased to report that the Senate’s version of FY 2005 Homeland Security Appropriations includes funding for numerous technology-based projects, including $340 million for the continued development of the U.S. Visit system. I am also pleased that this year’s appropriations bill includes $3.4 billion for investigating and enforcing border and interior immigration and Customs laws, including investigations and intelligence, detention and removals, and air operations. Technology is also being used at U.S. border land ports of entry, especially in states like Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas, for the use of border-crossing cards. These short-term visas allow individuals who frequently travel into and out of the U.S. to enter the country for up to three days at a time, and they allow travel of up to 50 miles from the border. The border-crossing card technology uses card scanners at the ports of entry to determine whether the fingerprint of the person crossing the border matches the fingerprint of the person who was issued the visa. These “laser visas” have eased the flow of travel, trade, and commerce into the U.S., and are an effective way to prevent individuals who may want to harm the U.S. from entering the country. Unfortunately, however, border-crossing cards are only being scanned at secondary port of entry inspection points. It is imperative that DHS obtain the resources to utilize this technology to its fullest extent, by using border-crossing card readers at primary inspection points. While S. 2295 is a bill that is mainly focused on technology for the border, it’s passage will help us better understand how technology can also be used in the interior of the U.S. I would like to thank Chairman McCain for including in the bill, at my request, a provision to require a report on the amount of time it takes for federal law-enforcement agencies to respond to calls for assistance from state and local law-enforcement officers. This provision will help determine what communication technology is required to shorten response times. In the past, federal, state and local law-enforcement officers have admitted to me that, more often than not, federal immigration enforcement officers take several hours to respond to calls for assistance, and that sometimes the federal officers do not even respond to the calls. Recently I have been told, by representatives from DHS and by state and local law-enforcement agencies in Arizona, that federal agency response times are improving. A June 3, East Valley Tribune article however, describes the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s release of 24 suspected illegal immigrants into a Mesa neighborhood because there were no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents available to pick up the aliens. I understand that the call for ICE assistance was placed at 4 a.m. and may not be representative of general response times. However, regardless of when a call is made, ICE must have in place a system to better respond to calls for assistance. The 24 aliens released into Arizona may have simply been illegal immigrants who want to work in the United States, but also could have been criminal aliens or even terrorists. Unfortunately, because they were set free, we will never know what type of danger they represent to the country. Technology is also important to decrease the amount of damage to the environment by illegal border crossers and the law-enforcement agents who apprehend them. I have worked with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Border Patrol to establish a pilot program that allows Border Patrol agents access to federally managed lands in order to apprehend illegal immigrants who try to cross the Arizona-Mexico border. Use of already available, and new, technology such as remote cameras strategically placed at certain points on federal land, and unmanned aerial vehicles, will decrease the number of agents who need to have to access federal lands. I continue to support allowing the Border Patrol to protect homeland security by effectively enforcing the Arizona-Mexico border, while at the same time encouraging use of technology to protect the environment from further degradation by travel on the federal lands. In closing, I believe that DHS has a long, long way to go to secure the U.S. border, but I appreciate its efforts to secure the border through additional resources and implementation of important programs like U.S.-Visit, enforcement operations such as the Arizona Border Control Initiative, its commitment to increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, and the creation of one face at the border by unifying three separate inspection functions into one single chain of command under Customs and Border Protection. I remain committed to ensuring that the Department of Homeland Security has the personnel, technology, and other resources necessary to effectively control the borders of the United States.
The Honorable Asa Hutchinson
Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Hollings, and Distinguished Committee Members: I am pleased to be with you today to discuss the Department’s commitment to enhancing the security of our borders through technology – while honoring the trade and travel that is essential to our national character, our economy, and our relationship with our allies and neighbors in Canada and Mexico. We must control our borders if we are to protect the homeland and maintain the integrity of our immigration system. At the same time, we recognize the fundamental importance of remaining a welcoming nation to the millions of visitors that come to the United States each year – and the millions of immigrants that enter our country through the lawful immigration process. Achieving an appropriate balance at our borders presents clear challenges – both at our ports of entry and in areas between the ports where the border often proves difficult to secure. Security Enhancements The Department of Homeland Security has taken a number of significant steps to improve security. · We have created “one face” at the border – unifying three separate inspection functions into one single chain of command under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). · We launched the US-VISIT program to biometrically confirm the identity of foreign visitors at our ports of entry. This effort has successfully processed more than 5 million visitors and prevented more than 500 criminals and immigration violators from entering the country. · We have increased our Border Patrol presence at both our Northern and Southern border. The CBP inspectional staff has been increased on the Northern border to more than 3,400 from 1,600 at pre 9/11 levels, and on the Southern border from 4,300 to 5,100. Additionally, with the increase of Border Patrol Agents between the Ports of Entry, the total is now 11,200 – which includes a three-fold increase on the Northern Border to 1,000 at the start of this year. · We have increased our air assets and surveillance capability – most recently by establishing two new Air and Marine operation centers in Bellingham, Washington, and Plattsburgh, New York. · We have forged new partnerships with the Department of Interior, state and local governments, tribal communities, and our international partners – to protect border lands and to implement joint programs to facilitate travel and trade. · We have developed more robust targeting and inspection of cargo arriving by sea, truck, and train – including the use of radiation detection monitors and non-intrusive inspection equipment. · As an example, more than 200 Radiation Portal Monitors have been deployed at our land borders, mail facilities, and seaports. In addition, 150 large scale Non Intrusive Inspection Systems are currently in use at our borders, seaports, rail crossings, and airports. We have also invested heavily in new technology at our borders. Today I’d like to highlight some of those investments – and the important partnership that we have established with our colleagues in the Science and Technology Directorate to identify ways to use technology to meet our security goals. ABC Initiative Nowhere has this partnership been more fruitful than in Arizona – where we face a substantial border security challenge, as members of this Committee can attest. The harsh terrain, extreme climate, and prevalence of organized smuggling operations contribute to a situation where 40 percent of the illegal entry into our country occurs within one particular area – the Sonora Desert region. As you know, the Department of Homeland Security has taken unprecedented action to gain operation control of the border to reduce illegal entry, break the cycle of smuggling, save lives, and reduce criminal activity. We launched the Arizona Border Control Initiative in March of this year. This effort leverages new partnerships among federal, state and local agencies, law enforcement, and the Tohono O’Odham Nation, increases manpower at the border, and utilizes new technology – including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. For the Arizona Border Control Initiative we have augmented resources and will continue adding capabilities to resources through the summer. We will make the following enhancements to personnel: · 60 Special Operations Agents trained for search, rescue and long term deployment; · 50 Agents to augment all Border Patrol functions; · 200 Agents permanently assigned to Tucson. Selections are being made and these Agents will begin the relocation process (30 to 60 days); · 4 Helicopters have been reassigned to Tucson, including 2 enhancements and 2 detailed, 2 pilots detailed to Tucson, and 2 mechanics; · 80 ICE Investigation’s personnel have been detailed to combat human smuggling operations, including 75 Special Agents and 5 Intelligence Research Specialists; · 13 ICE Detention and Removal Buses have been sent to Tucson. A mobile maintenance Unit is in Tucson, and detention and removal space has been increased; · Air and Marine coordination has resulted in joint air operations (ICE/Border Patrol) for search, rescue and interdiction. Additional flight hours are also being applied in Tucson; · Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been obtained and we will begin test and operational flights from June 18-22, 2004. As a result of these combined efforts, we have apprehended 203,460 illegal immigrants, uncovered 225 drop houses in border areas and in Phoenix and Tucson, prosecuted 2,067 felony and misdemeanor cases, and conducted 31,000 non-intrusive inspections of vehicles. Border Patrol agents have also participated in more than 70 rescue operations and assisted 287 individuals. We have also confiscated more than 180,000 pounds of marijuana, 1,447 pounds of cocaine, and 1,037 ounces of heroin. Responding to increased activity other than in Arizona Within our planning and ABC operations we remain vigilant of changing trends or increased activity in other border locations and cities that are affected by alien smuggling organizations. We continually monitor the levels of illegal activity related to crossing the border, and maintain planning and intelligence communication and particularly in California, New Mexico and Texas. Currently the activity levels indicate that arrests are increasing along the entire Southwest Border. Arizona however continues to be the most active area. In the area of current focus (West Desert Corridor, Tucson), reports continue to show that effectiveness of our deployments is higher and that fewer persons are attempting to enter these dangerous locations. Partnering with the Science and Technology Directorate We have worked closely with the Science and Technology Directorate to establish the technology needs of users in the field. The process to identify technology involves a six-step methodology designed to develop a “capabilities-based” technology plan for securing U.S. borders. The purpose of the process is to ensure that federal technology planners understand the capabilities that our agents and officers view as essential for mission success, and to help planners focus technology development on filling the identified gaps in those capabilities. In last year’s process we successfully completed the first four steps which provided enough information to direct our Science and Technology portfolio’s initial investments. This year the Directorate intends to refine the work accomplished last year and delve more deeply into areas of particular interest to develop the road maps to increased capability. The Science and Technology Directorate has also assisted our efforts by acting as co-chair of the UAV working group to bring this important capability to our component agencies. Science and Technology also provided the expertise to develop our joint Department of Defense-required report to congress discussing the feasibility of using UAVs to secure the homeland. Science and Technology has also assisted us in writing the specifications and contracting to develop an analysis of alternatives to UAVs. This process will be invaluable in assisting the Department in long range decisions on the feasibility, costs and required border security missions that UAVs will perform. Science and Technology funds have also been dedicated for: · Heartbeat detectors that allow us to determine the number of individuals in a particular vehicle or enclosed area; · Language translators that allow us to communicate more effectively with those we apprehend; · Long Range Acoustic Devices that allow us to broadcast communications over a loudspeaker for hundreds of yards; · And Directional Listening Devices that allow us to detect border activity in remote regions. Total funds applied to the ABC initiative by our Science and Technology Directorate are approximately 5 million dollars. We are also partnering with Science and Technology to identify future technology needs of our component agencies, including TSA, ICE, and CBP. These strategic plans will guide our long term investments in technology and fund short term test and evaluations. Technology is also allowing us to tie together disparate elements of our sensor and surveillance systems at the border. Through the Integrated Surveillance and Intelligence System, we will join together the surveillance capability of Border Patrol headquarters, remote video surveillance cameras, and a variety of physical sensors. Remote video surveillance (RVS) systems, sensors (seismic, magnetic, and thermal detection), and intelligent computer-assisted detection (ICAD) are components of the congressionally funded Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS), which was originally developed in 1998. The RVS component utilizes cameras, mounting poles, radio and microwave transmitters, and related equipment to maintain 24-hour surveillance of selected portions of the U.S. international border. Underground sensors installed along the U.S. border detect various types of activity and relay that information to a receiver/decoder located at a Sector Headquarters. The ICAD component is an alarm and dispatch support system with a data capture and reporting capability. The seismic, magnetic, and thermal detection sensors are used in conjunction with RVS and ICAD. When a sensor is tripped, an alarm is sent to a central control room. Personnel monitoring control room screens use the ICAD system to manually position RVS cameras in the direction from which the sensor alarm is tripped. Control room personnel alert field agents and coordinate an appropriate response to the situation. The ISIS Program supports the U.S. Border Patrol both tactically and strategically. At the tactical level on-scene agents are provided with real-time information on attempted border crossings by illegal aliens, terrorists, or smugglers. Strategically, the installation of RVS camera systems enables the Border Patrol to monitor expanses of the border. When ISIS is fully deployed, the USBP will be able to fully monitor the border in areas of deployment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through FY 2003, 286 RVS structures have been installed along the Southern and Northern Borders with the additional 16 structures along the Northern and Southern Borders during the first five months of FY 2004. In the future, we expect this system to integrate data from the UAVs and be interoperable with other law enforcement agencies. The Science and Technology Directorate will continue to assist us in identifying the best products to refresh these technologies and increase the areas covered by the deployments. Conclusion We must remain responsive and flexible to changing border dynamics – both in Arizona and along our Southern and Northern Borders. The Department remains committed to enhancing security in a way that is consistent with our values and character at a nation. We value the important partnerships we have created at the federal, state and local level, and we look forward to building upon our efforts to date.
The Honorable Charles McQueary
Good morning. Chairman McCain, Senator Hollings, and distinguished Members of the Committee, it is a pleasure to be with you today to discuss the progress the Science and Technology Directorate is making in the nation’s efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from, acts of terrorism against the American people. Today, in accordance with the Committee’s letter of invitation to testify, I will focus my testimony on technological advancements to enhance border security, especially the ways in which science and technology supports the mission of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security. I consider the operational components of the Department to be our most important customers. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate supports the missions of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) Directorate, Border and Transportation Security (BTS), Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and United States Secret Service (USSS) through conducting, stimulating, and enabling research, development, test, evaluation, and timely transition of homeland security capabilities to Federal, state, and local operational end-users. Organization of the S&T Directorate The Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security is designed as a matrix management organization. We have four key Offices, each with an important role in implementing the Directorate’s Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) activities. Crosscutting the four key offices, the Science and Technology Directorate implements its activities through focused Portfolios. The staff within the four Offices for each Portfolio comprises the Integrated Product Team (IPT) for that Portfolio, and it is this IPT that recommends the overall direction and execution for its Portfolio. Directorate Offices The four Offices of the Directorate are: the Office of Plans, Programs and Budgets; the Office of Research and Development; the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency; and the Office of Systems Engineering and Development. Let me give you a brief overview of each of the Offices: The Office of Plans, Programs and Budgets (PPB) is organized into Portfolios, each of which is focused on a particular discipline or activity; taken together, these portfolios span the Directorate’s mission space. The staff of each portfolio is charged with being expert in their particular area; with understanding the activities and capabilities extant in Federal agencies and across the broad research and development community; and with working with their IPT to develop a strategic plan for their particular portfolio, to include near-, mid-, and long-range research and development activities. The Office of Research and Development (ORD) strives to provide the nation with an enduring capability in research, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation of technologies to protect the homeland. This office also plans to provide stewardship to the scientific community and to preserve and broaden the leadership of the United States in science and technology. Activities within ORD address the resources that can be brought to bear to better secure the homeland through the participation of universities, national laboratories, Federal laboratories and research centers. The Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) is the external research-funding arm of the Science and Technology Directorate. It has at its disposal the full range of contracting vehicles and the authority under the Homeland Security Act to engage businesses, federally funded research and development centers, universities and other government partners in an effort to gather and develop viable concepts for advanced technologies to protect the homeland. The Office of Systems Engineering and Development (SED) is tasked with leading the implementation and transition of large-scale or pilot systems to the field through a rapid, efficient and disciplined approach to project management. Integrated Product Teams and Strategic Planning As mentioned above, PPB determines the direction of each Portfolio with input from membership from all of our executing Offices – Office of Research and Development, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Systems Engineering and Development. This input process is formalized through our integrated product teams (IPTs). The IPTs for each portfolio work as a team to determine their mission space, their strategic goals for the next five years, and a list of prioritized deliverables. The executing Offices then respond to the prioritization process with programs that are subsequently executed. The three executing Offices are responsible for the execution of their programs and determine, within the overall funding constraints dictated by the Under Secretary, the Department, and the Congress, the resources needed to meet the milestones and objectives of a particular program as laid out by the PPB process. The strategic planning of the BTS Portfolio Integrated Product Team has been exemplary over the past few months, and the results of their deliberations have been included in our Directorate’s overall strategic planning process. Their planning, as well as their strong understanding of the needs of the BTS Directorate, helped to inform this testimony. Portfolio Details As mentioned above, the Science and Technology Directorate has organized its efforts into research and development portfolios that span the set of product lines of the Directorate. Four portfolios address specific terrorist threats: · Biological Countermeasures · Chemical Countermeasures · High Explosive Countermeasures · Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures. Four portfolios crosscut these threats: · Threat and Vulnerability, Testing and Assessment – this portfolio includes our support to the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate, including our critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity activities. · Standards · Emerging Threats · Rapid Prototyping We also have portfolios that support the operational units of the Department (Border and Transportation Security; Emergency Preparedness and Response, United States Coast Guard and United States Secret Service) in both their homeland security and conventional missions. Our University and Fellowship Programs portfolio addresses the need to build an enduring science and technology capability and support United States leadership in science and technology. Our most recent program, Counter-MANPADS, is seeking to improve technologies to protect commercial aircraft from the threat of MAN-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). As can be seen in the following chart, we have an overall FY 2005 budget request of $1.039 billion, which is an increase of $126.5 million (13.9 percent) over the FY 2004 levels. The request includes $35 million for construction of facilities. In addition, the increase includes President Bush’s request for an additional $65 million dollars to enhance and expand the BioWatch Program. FY 2003 FY 2004 less rescission Proposed FY 2005 Increases/Decreases from FY 2004 to 2005 BUDGET ACTIVITY Amount(million) Amount (millions) Amount(millions) Amount(millions) Percent Increase Budget Activity M&A 0.0 44.2 52.6 8.4 19.1% Salary and expenses 0.0 44.2 52.6 8.4 19.1% Budget Activity R&D 553.5 868.7 986.7 118.0 13.6% Bio Countermeasures (incl. NBACC) 362.6 285.0 407.0 122.0 42.8% High-Explosives Countermeasures 0.0 9.5 9.7 0.2 2.1% Chemical Countermeasures 7.0 52.0 53.0 1.0 1.9% R/N Countermeasures 75.0 126.3 129.3 3.0 2.4% TVTA (incl. CIP & Cyber) 36.1 100.1 101.9 1.8 1.8% Standards 20.0 39.0 39.7 0.7 1.9% Components 0.0 34.0 34.0 0.0 0.0% University & Fellowship Programs 3.0 68.8 30.0 -38.8 -56.4% Emerging Threats 16.8 21.0 21.0 0.0 0.0% Rapid Prototyping 33.0 73.0 76.0 3.0 4.1% Counter MANPADS 0.0 60.0 61.0 1.0 1.7% R&D Consolidation transferred funds 0.0 0.0 24.1 24.1 Total enacted appropriations and budget estimates 553.5 912.8 1039.3 126.5 13.9% Interfacing between S&T and BTS Directorates As do all the Department’s operational components, BTS has a strong relationship with our Science and Technology Directorate. This working relationship is strengthened by interactions at a number of levels. Of course, my good friend Under Secretary Hutchinson and I communicate frequently through weekly meetings with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, as well as through written and oral communications. But it is critical that those in the trenches – those who really understand the technology and the men and women who protect our borders and our transportation systems – talk to each other. When the S&T Directorate was first stood up in March of 2003, we put a strong emphasis on recruiting excellent Portfolio Managers for S&T, including those who would be able to formalize our communication with, and support of, the Department’s operational components. For Border and Transportation Security, we were fortunate in recruiting Ms. Jeanne Lin, who is detailed to S&T from Customs and Border Protection where she was the Director, R&D Branch within the Applied Technology Division. Ms. Lin and her staff have worked hard to establish and maintain an active interface with the Border and Transportation Security Directorate, and I want to publicly thank her, her staff, and all those at BTS who have worked to make this relationship beneficial. This working relationship between S&T and BTS is illustrated in many ways. S&T staff talk via telephone conversations at least once a week with BTS Operational staff members to touch base and ensure things are on track and going well. There are almost daily interactions via e-mail between S&T personnel with both BTS operational and policy/planning staffs. Members of our BTS Portfolio and IPT try to visit BTS offices at least once a week. Members of both organizations jointly attend various meetings, both at BTS and S&T, and in interagency fora. When we are conducting technology planning workshops, the interaction is much more intense; daily interactions occur between S&T and BTS staff involved in these workshops and joint briefings are given to management. At recent S&T sponsored conferences, we have given a “joint” S&T/BTS presentation where the presenters tag team the presentation, alternatively providing the operator’s point of view and the R&D perspective. Another example of our close coordination is the preparation for this testimony. Accomplishments to Date The Department of Homeland Security has already put several new technologies in place to aid in securing our borders. The S&T Directorate has contributed to many of these efforts and we are working to develop and demonstrate new and enhanced capabilities to ensure enhanced security. We are working, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other relevant Federal departments and agencies, to address the threats from foreign animal disease being imported, as well as threats to our agricultural and food supply infrastructures. We are partners in a pilot program at the San Francisco International Airport that couples detection of biological and chemical threat agents with the operation of ventilation systems, allowing redirection of contaminated air and effective evacuation should an event occur. We are also operating the DHS/S&T Countermeasures Test Bed in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area to test technologies in actual operating environments, including aviation, roadways, railways and maritime environments. We are serving as the Technical Program Manager on the Radiological Pilot Programs Office, a BTS-led initiative currently being conducted in the Charleston, South Carolina port area. S&T and the United States Coast Guard planned and funded the South Florida Coastal Surveillance Prototype Testbed, a port and coastal surveillance prototype in Port Everglades, Miami, and Key West areas. The prototype, called HAWKEYE, is an evolutionary testbed that: · Provides an initial immediate coastal surveillance capability in a high priority area · Offers the Coast Guard and other DHS agencies the means to develop and evaluate CONOPS (Concept of Operations) in a real world environment · Implements and tests interoperability among DHS and DoD systems and networks such as the US Navy/Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC). · Tests and evaluates systems and operational procedures · Becomes the design standard for follow-on systems in other areas and integration with wider area surveillance systems. The program has two phases; an initial prototype development phase, and an improvements and update phase. The program began operations in June 2004. DHS is deploying the US-VISIT program to our ports of entry to enhance the security of U.S. citizens and visitors. The program facilitates legitimate travel and trade by leveraging technology and the evolving use of biometrics to expedite processing at our borders. Last year, S&T supported the US-VISIT program office by participating in the baselining of existing US-VISIT capability. S&T has already funded a consortium led by West Virginia University to study the application of biometrics to travel security issues and the associated public response to the collection and management of such biometrics data by the Federal Government. In addition, S&T personnel co-chair several committees: for example, the Biometrics Research and Development Interagency Working Group with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the DHS Biometrics Working Group. These interagency efforts are focusing on developing a government-wide research, development, and implementation agenda for biometrics technologies. Finally, S&T has initiated an effort with OSTP, the State Department, and the DHS BTS Directorate to develop and implement an Enhanced International Travel Security (EITS) system, which would ensure the authenticity of travel documents and validate the identity of their holders. That effort is being managed so as to garner the support of the international community; two pilots are planned for later this year, with the UK and Australia. S&T is very actively involved with providing near-term and long-term technology solutions to improving both the capability of radiation detection systems to detect threats and to distinguish threats from the many non-threatening radiological materials that legitimately cross our boarders each day. Our Standards portfolio continues to actively engage the Federal, state, and local first responders to ensure that developed standards are effective in detection, prevention, response, management, and attribution. This portfolio also conducts the essential activities in order to meet the requirement of the SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies) Act in developing certification standards for technologies related to homeland security. In FY 2004, our Standards portfolio: · Created initial standards guidelines, with formal standards nearing completion, for radiation pagers, hand-held radiation dosimetry instruments, radioisotope identifiers and radiation portal monitors. These standards were developed under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute’s Accredited American Standards Committee on Radiation Instrumentation. · Adopted its first set of standards regarding personal protective equipment developed to protect first responders against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents. These standards, which will assist state and local procurement officials and manufacturers, are intended to provide emergency personnel with the best available protective gear. These standards result from an ongoing collaboration with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. · Published guidelines for interoperable communications gear. Common grant guidance has been developed and incorporated in the public safety wireless interoperability grant programs of both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security; · Launched the SAFETY Act process for evaluating anti-terrorism technologies for potential liability limits. The Department also recognizes the special nature of our partnership with our northern and southern neighbors as we address the subject of border security. DHS is engaged in many activities to enhance the security of our shared borders with Canada and Mexico. The Science and Technology Directorate is supporting many of these activities by enhancing current technologies and developing new systems that will expand the capabilities of the operational directorates charged with carrying out the mission to protect the border regions. On June 2, 2004, the "Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States in Science and Technology for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Border Security" was signed by Department of State Under Secretary Dobriansky and Canadian Ambassador Kergin. This agreement, led on the US side by DHS S&T, provides an umbrella instrument to facilitate cooperation for all S&T elements of the Smart Border Action Plan and other related collaborative activities. The objective is to govern S&T activities that address protection of the nations’ mutual critical infrastructure and of their air, land, and sea perimeters so as to achieve a secure flow of people and goods. A strategic plan with criteria for prioritization was formalized in late May 2004 to govern the activities undertaken under this Agreement to ensure that the efforts between the nations are focused on the most productive joint projects, We have jointly identified detailed priorities for work over the next 3-5 years within the four mission areas: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) RDT&E; Critical Infrastructure Protection; Disruption and Interdiction; and Systems Integration, Standards, and Analysis. A select few examples of activities that have already progressed include a wide range of equipment evaluations to support the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs); work on a wireless blackberry for secure communications; completion of a Radiological Dispersive Device workshop that brought together subject matter experts in discussions on approaches to prevention, detection, crisis response, and restoration; and completion of the first coordinated risk assessment to provide the basis for total-system analysis. We have also begun discussions with Mexico in a number of areas. We are working to develop technologies that allow law enforcement officials to transmit key information on vehicles and persons across the borders. We are working on developing collaborative arrangements in other border security technology topics, including developing joint approaches to agricultural bio-countermeasures as well as investigating technologies to make our border checkpoints more effective and efficient. We believe that by bringing together unified research enterprises - including academia and private industry, we can leverage our resources and provide robust solutions to the problems associated with border security. We also believe that, in order to ensure that we are truly solving the right problems, we must engage our users and prioritize our projects according to the largest capability gaps in covering our primary vulnerabilities. An appendix of S&T’s accomplishments from March 2003 to February 2004 is included as part of this written testimony for information. Science and Technology Support to BTS Our research and development efforts in the BTS portfolio are aimed at supporting the operational mission of the BTS Directorate through identifying operational requirements, developing mission capabilities-based technological needs and implementing a strategic plan. Our goal is to ensure that the technology we develop will work faster, better, smarter for the user. To determine the real needs and requirements of the end-users, BTS and S&T have jointly conducted a series of officer and agent workshops to understand, develop and refine user needs. In order to determine what our customers needed and how S&T makes technology investments to support these goals, the BTS and S&T Directorates chose a capabilities based technology planning process. The purpose of the process is to ensure that S&T understands the capabilities that BTS agents and officers view as essential to mission success and help S&T focus technology development on filling identified gaps in those capabilities. For the past two years, BTS and S&T have jointly conducted a series of officer and agent workshops to understand, develop and refine user needs. This year, scenario gaming was added to two workshops to help identify potentially high payoff investment areas. Teams of BTS agents and officers from the various BTS agencies, often working together for the first time, conducted an assessment of strengths and weaknesses of current procedures and technologies, reviewed needs and capabilities across agency components, and analyzed how technology can aid in command, control and coordination. Following the Operators Workshops, Technology Workshops are held. Technology Workshop attendees come from government laboratories and academia to learn about BTS goals and bring their expertise to the table to talk about relevant technologies and potential solutions. The results of these workshops aid in determining the priorities and needs which are then validated by senior level management. In the near future, the Science and Technology Requirements Council (SRC) will review portfolio investments as well as provide additional means for Directorates to submit their technology requirements. The Council will have membership at the Assistant Secretary level and gives the DHS components a formal, documented process in which to submit their technology requirements to the S&T Directorate. We anticipate that the SRC will be operational by early fall of this year. Once the technology goals are established and the focus clarified on research and development (R&D) investments, we identify opportunities for supporting demonstrations and develop an R&D roadmap to increasing capability. The Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABC) is one such opportunity to insert technologies in the immediate to near immediate timeframe. Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABC) As an example of our current activities to enhance border security, I point to our work with the BTS Directorate on the Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABC). In this BTS-led initiative, Under Secretary Hutchinson requested that the S&T Directorate evaluate how additional technology could support this important operation. We sent a technical team to Tucson, Arizona, to interview personnel and assess how existing technology might support this operation. S&T then made recommendations to BTS’s senior management including the ABC Integrator, Chief Aguilar, who is responsible for ABC overall coordination amongst the agency components. S&T is now working to introduce various technologies supporting ABC. We are in the process of inserting several technologies into the ABC field, including a long range acoustic device (LRAD) which gives Border Patrol agents the ability to communicate with persons at a long distance, and an acoustic triangulation locator which will aid agents in fast and accurate detection of small arms fire. The LRAD is one of the most promising existing technologies that S&T has introduced that could transition to BTS on a larger scale. During recent demonstrations, we have had positive initial evaluations and feedback by Border Patrol agents in Tucson. We are providing a permanent LRAD unit for continued testing in day-to-day operations during ABC. A number of additional technology projects will begin within the ABC, including the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in a border environment to enhance ground surveillance. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) S&T also supports the BTS Directorate’s mission through research and development to ensure effective aerial and ground surveillance. The Science & Technology Directorate chairs the Department’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Executive Steering Group which includes advisory members from the Department of Defense’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Science and Technology Directorate also co-chairs with BTS the Department’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Working Group This group is currently focused on developing the operational requirements for UAVs and related technologies, for example, aerostats, lighter than air (LTA) ships, and towers. At this point, functional capabilities that could be filled or improved through the application of UAVs and other technologies have been identified. At the direction of the DHS UAV Executive Steering Group, and based on the DHS high level mission requirements, the Science and Technology Directorate is conducting an Analysis of Alternatives in addressing the priority needs of surveillance and monitoring, and communications. We expect the analysis of alternatives to be completed by the end of calendar year 2004. Sensor Technologies S&T is also investigating sensor technologies. Sensors can aid in supporting container security as well as improving our capability to detect vehicles and personnel movement along the border. In container security, we envision sensors being used to detect container intrusion, and one of the key first steps towards developing an overall container security program that would include securing the container, establishing container history data systems, and supply chain integration. A Broad Agency Announcement on the Advanced Container Security Device (ACSD) was issued on May 7, 2004, and we are in the process of evaluating seventy submissions with multiple awards in this solicitation in a phased development approach expected in October 2004. The goal of the ACSD program is to develop, field-test and transition to commercialization, the next generation of shipping container security devices. S&T is also investigating ways to improve ground surveillance sensors to detect vehicle and personnel movement in target areas. S&T is coordinating with BTS’ Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS) program for large scale implementation of sensor technologies developed and tested by S&T. Coordination with ISIS minimizes overlap of technology development and selection efforts while ensuring rapid implementation of new and interoperable technologies. Long-Range Plans The Science and Technology Directorate believes strongly that only by developing the technologies for five and ten years from now can we fully ensure that the nation will be secure for decades to come. Our work in supporting Border and Transportation Security is no exception. The BTS strategic plan uses a system of systems approach. For example, in BorderNet the requirements package includes a roadmap to not only develop technology systems but also to transition these systems to the field. All technology systems must be compatible and must function within the existing overall architecture. The roadmap identifies areas for further RDT&E and key decision points for joint consideration by BTS and S&T. For non-intrusive inspection, the BTS portfolio envisions the development of an integrated, rapid, accurate, transparent non-intrusive inspection system for detection of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials, illegal drugs and other contraband in cargo loaded trucks and containers. Current, near and mid term technology advances are focused on individual systems for the detection of specific threat material. A more integrated approach is needed to maintain the flow of commerce in spite of the ever-increasing amount of traffic crossing our borders and addressing the ever-expanding list of potential terrorist threats. High throughput, high detection probability, and low false alarm rate are just a few of the required technical characteristics of such a system. Operational considerations such as size, cost, reliability, and maintainability must also be considered. To effectively protect our nation’s borders and transportation systems, it is vitally important that we have in place a system for accessing and sharing credible real time information on any and all threats. S&T’s long term goal is to develop a full scale, real time, dynamic interagency and international information sharing system that allows all participants to communicate knowledge and have a shared understanding of the security situation is critical for long-term security. This system would allow a collaborative response insuring that the right people and infrastructure are tasked, and would be supported by robust decision models to help people organize information and respond to an event. Major operational and technical challenges include development of a robust and interoperable infrastructure, instituting multilevel security and privacy protection, and developing verified and validated decision models. Conclusion I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that we are in the process of finalizing the first SAFETY Act Certifications and Designations and will announce those designees shortly. We know the SAFETY Act is an important factor in getting existing technologies into the field and that Congress has a strong interest in seeing this process work efficiently and effectively. In summary: · We have implemented the process. We have an interim rule; we are listening to industry and a final rule and a better application is coming. · Additional awards are imminent. We are on schedule and we can handle more applications without negative impact on timely reviews. And, we will be streamlining the second version of the applications based on industry input and our experience. · The certifications and designations are not recommendations of the technologies; they demonstrate compliance in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Homeland Security Act. · Companies have shown DHS that their technology works as intended; DHS has shown that the SAFETY Act process works as intended; and now it is time for the market place to work as intended. Mr. Chairman, Senator Hollings, and Members of the Committee, this concludes my prepared statement. With the Committee’s permission, I request my formal statement be submitted for the record. I thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Appendix Accomplishments of the Science and Technology Directorate Department of Homeland Security March 2003 to February 2004 Biological and Chemical Countermeasures Biowatch: National Urban Monitoring for Biological Pathogens The Biowatch program has been established and deployed to cities across the nation. The program – developed, funded, and managed by the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate – is executed in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It employs environmental sampling devices to quickly detect biological pathogens, such as anthrax, in time to distribute life-saving pharmaceuticals to affected citizens. The S&T Directorate is now focusing its efforts on piloting the next generation of environmental samplers, which will reduce the amount of labor required and the response time needed for detection while keeping the detection probability high and false alarm rates low. These devices will take advantage of the latest advances in micro-chemistry, commonly referred to as "chemistry on a chip." PROTECT (Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical Terrorism): Chemical Defense and Response Capability for Transportation Facility The S&T Directorate, in collaboration with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), completed PROTECT (Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism). PROTECT, which is an operational chemical agent detection and response capability, is deployed in Metro stations and operated by the WMATA. PROTECT is a team effort that owes its success to the scientific and engineering talent from Argonne, Sandia, and Livermore National Laboratories and operational expertise from WMATA and the First Responder community (the District of Columbia; Arlington, VA; Montgomery County, MD; and others). Also contributing significantly to the project are private industry partners, including LiveWave Inc., ManTech Security Technology, the detector manufacturer (name withheld for security reasons); and Federal partners, including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP). The system integrates chemical detector data and video feed and transmits the integrated information to the Operation Control Center (OCC), where the information is analyzed and an event confirmed. The information is then transmitted to the first responders who access it in both their OCC and through the use of wired jacks on the scene to facilitate response and recovery. PROTECT also has application in other areas, including fire and emergency response, security, and forensics. Upon completion, the system will be totally owned and operated by WMATA and expanded to approximately 20 stations. FTA is working with WMATA and Argonne National Laboratory to transfer the technology nationally. The information gleaned from PROTECT will have direct application to facility protection and response. A related effort is being piloted in the Boston subway system. Joint Urban 2003: Experimental Atmospheric Transport and Modeling In June 2003, the S&T Directorate, in coordination with the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Department of Energy, and University of Oklahoma sponsored a month-long atmospheric dispersion study in Oklahoma City, OK. Nearly 150 scientists, engineers, and student assistants were dedicated to this study, which tracked the air movement of safe, non-toxic tracer gases in and around city buildings. The resulting data is being used to enhance and develop urban-specific atmospheric dispersion computer models that will allow emergency management, law enforcement and other personnel to train for and respond to potential chemical, biological, and radiological terrorist attacks. ProACT (Protective and Response Options for Airport Counter Terrorism): Chemical and Biological Counterterrorism Demonstration and Application Program The S&T Directorate and its partners at the San Francisco International Airport are involved in a pilot program that couples biological and chemical detection with vulnerability analysis, response, and restoration. This program integrates networked sensors with the operation of ventilation systems, allowing redirection of contaminated air and effective evacuation should an event occur. Guidance for the airport facility operators to manage biological and chemical crises will be finalized soon for distribution throughout the applicable community. Protocols and concepts of operation for restoration also are under development. This program is designed to serve as a template for deployment of these capabilities to other similar facilities. LINC (Local Integration of National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center [NARAC] with Cities): Hazard Assessment Tool for Operational Event Management LINC demonstrates the capability for providing local government agencies with advanced operational atmospheric plume prediction capabilities that can be seamlessly integrated with appropriate federal agency support for homeland security. LINC’s approach is to integrate NARAC capabilities with local emergency management and response centers. In the event of a chemical or biological release, NARAC predictions can be used by emergency managers and responders to map the extent and effects of hazardous airborne material. Prompt predictions are provided to guide front-line responders in determining protective actions to be taken, critical facilities that may be at risk, and safe locations for incident command posts. LINC provides response teams from multiple jurisdictions with tools to effectively share information regarding the areas and populations at risk. To date, several cities have participated in the project. New York City used LINC to help inform and manage an explosion and fire at a Staten Island refinery in the Spring of 2003. BioNet: Integrated Civilian and Military Consequence Management The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency have initiated the BioNet program to address joint civilian-military consequence management issues for localities near military bases. Upon completion of BioNet, a seamless consequence management plan that incorporates concepts of operation, information products, area monitoring, population health monitoring, and sample analysis laboratory will be developed that can be used nationally. Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) The S&T Directorate assumed responsibility for the operations of the “facilities and liabilities” of PIADC in June 2003. A 60-day review of security and operations resulted in immediate improvements and a plan for enhancements to security and operational maintenance. Dr. Beth Lautner has become new Center Director for PIADC. Dr. Lautner was with the National Pork Board for 13 years, most recently serving as the vice-president of Science and Technology. Highly respected throughout animal agriculture for her work on numerous issues, she pioneered the establishment of the Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Program and has worked extensively with the USDA and other organizations on national agricultural security issues. In 1994, she was awarded the prestigious Howard Dunne Memorial Award by the association. In addition, DHS announced on December 9, 2003, the selection of Field Support Services, Inc. (FSSI), as the new contractor for maintenance at PIADC. FSSI is a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, an Alaskan Native corporation, headquartered in Barrow, Alaska. TOPOFF2 Exercise In May 2003, leadership and staff members of the Science and Technology Directorate served as members of the Secretary’s Crisis Assessment Team (CAT) and the interagency Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) and provided expert technical advice on understanding, communicating and responding to the hypothetical radiological and plague events during the TOPOFF2 exercise. Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures Programs Radiation Detection in Metropolitan Areas The Science and Technology division formally assumed management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s radiation detection test bed on August 2003. The test bed was previously managed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The transfer will broaden the project scope beyond testing and evaluation of individual pieces of technology to a systems approach including response protocols and operational concepts. Radiation detection equipment will be installed at tunnels, bridges, ports, and airports in the New York City metropolitan area, and all functions associated with their operational use will be evaluated. By judging the efficacy of fielded systems over time, the Science and Technology division will be able to influence future decisions on detection technology R&D investment, deployment of urban monitoring systems, configurations best able to enhance security, and viable solutions for protecting the nation from radiological and nuclear threats. Determined Promise Exercise In August 2003, staff members of the S&T Directorate participated in Determined Promise, a Department of Defense (DoD) exercise held in Las Vegas, NV. The exercise demonstrated the military’s capability to assist in the response to a natural disaster, a bioterrorism event, and a number of other emergency situations nationwide. The exercise also provided a forum for initiating discussions that will foster interagency cooperation between DHS and USNORTHCOM. Nuclear Threat Assessments The S&T Directorate has provided eight rapid nuclear threat assessments for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and approximately two dozen assessments on reports of illicit trafficking in nuclear materials for the Department of State and other customers. The Department of Homeland Security has been leading the interagency Nuclear Trafficking Focus Group, which regularly brings together the operational players of all agencies involved in response to and understanding of nuclear smuggling events. Secondary “Reach Back” In August 2003, the S&T Directorate’s Nuclear Assessment Program stood up a system to provide secondary “reach back” support to operational DHS entities employing radiation detection systems in the field. Secondary reach back provides inspectors with an additional information resource to utilize for the resolution of radiation detection alarms that draws upon experience in the analysis of nuclear smuggling incidents and threat analysis. Standards Radiation Detection. The S&T Directorate has developed a suite of four radiation detector standards under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)’s Accredited American Standards Committee on Radiation Instrumentation. The four standards deal with radiation pagers, hand-held dosimetry instruments, radioisotope identifiers and radiation portal monitors. The S&T Directorate has formed three writing groups to prepare Test and Evaluation (T&E) protocols for hand-held radiation detectors, radionuclide identifiers and radiation portal monitors. The writing groups have met in working sessions in San Diego, CA (July 2003) and Las Vegas, NV (September 2003) and have prepared draft T&E protocols. Benchmark testing against these draft protocols has been initiated at four National Laboratories. Biopathogen Identification The Science and Technology Directorate has partnered with the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense to fund a contract with the Association of Analytical Communities International to develop Reference Methods and Official Methods for bulk assay of bacillus anthracis. This work will also permit the comparison of commercially available rapid identification methods (hand-held assays) for B. anthracis. Personal Protective and Operational Equipment Standards The S&T Directorate in 2004 incorporated the First Responder CBRN Personal Protective and Operational Equipment Standards Development Program into its standards portfolio. This multi-year program, executed through the Office of Law Enforcement Standards at NIST; develops equipment performance standards, test methods, conformity assessment programs, user guides to meet first responder needs for CBRNE incidents. S&T adopted three CBRN respiratory protection standards developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed through this program and five standards from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in February. SAFETY Act On October 10, 2003, Secretary Ridge signed an interim final rule implementing the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act which was a requirement of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The SAFETY Act is designed to encourage the development and rapid deployment of life-saving, anti-terrorism technologies by providing manufacturers and sellers with limited liability risks. The Department is now accepting applications for designation under the Act and evaluating the proposed technologies. Interoperability of Communications SAFECOM: E-Gov Initiative to Improve Interoperability of Wireless Communications The Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to boost the ability of the approximately 44,000 local, tribal and State entities and 100 federal agencies engaged in public safety to communicate effectively with one another, particularly during an emergency. SAFECOM is a Federal umbrella program under the S&T Directorate that is dedicated to improving public safety response through the development of standards and a national architecture that will promote enhanced interoperable wireless communications. The goal is to enable public safety agencies to talk across disciplines and jurisdictions via radio communications systems, exchanging voice or data with one another on demand and in real time. SAFECOM also partners with the joint Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security Integrated Wireless Network program, which will create interoperability among local, state and federal public safety agencies in 25 cities. In addition, technical guidance for interoperable communications that was developed under SAFECOM is included in this year’s Office of Domestic Preparedness grants. Summit on Interoperable Communications for Public Safety In June 2003, the S&T Directorate, Project SAFECOM, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute of Justice hosted a Summit on Interoperable Communications for Public Safety. The event focused on familiarizing attendees with programs that assist public safety practitioners, including first responders, and is the first national effort ever undertaken to convene all the players. In addition, it provided insight on how government can leverage existing program successes and resources in the area of standards development, approaches, and products and services. The Summit results provided help in formulating a coordinated approach toward nationwide communications interoperability. SAFECOM Vendor Demonstration Day In August 2003, the Science and Technology Directorate held its first SAFECOM Vendor Demonstration Day, with an overwhelmingly positive response from technology providers. Due to the increasing number of vendor requests to present their technologies to the SAFECOM Program, the S&T Directorate is holding a vendor demonstration day on the last Friday of every month. These Friday sessions will offer a chance for SAFECOM to learn about new technologies for interoperability, provide a clear process for managing vendor requests, and provide an opportunity for vendors to participate. SAFECOM held a Vendor Demonstration Day on January 30, 2004. SAFECOM’s Vendor Day allows several communications equipment and service providers to present their products and/or technologies for SAFECOM. Responses from the SAFECOM Request for Information in November 2003 were used to select vendors for this event. Each vendor selected represents a different approach to solving the communications and interoperability problems facing first responders. Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Programs Addressing Threats and Vulnerabilities in the Oil and Gas Industries The S&T Directorate sponsored and delivered a prototype system to the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) Directorate to perform Graphical Information System (GIS) based computer assisted threat and vulnerability mapping of the oil and gas infrastructure in the American Southwest. S&T is also in the process of delivering to IAIP cutting edge visualization, data searching, data correlation, and all-source analytic aids to provide IAIP advanced analytic capabilities integrated with vulnerability information. Advanced Algorithms for Biodetectors Researchers funded by the S&T Directorate’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research & Development program achieved an important milestone in the speed acceleration of software used to develop advanced biodetectors. Scientists have made a pair of related algorithmic advances that will speed the creation of DNA signatures for pathogen detection at considerably reduced cost. These discoveries will result in cheaper, faster, and more reliable bio-detectors for homeland security. Threat-Vulnerability Mapper Part of the Threat-Vulnerability Information System, the Threat-Vulnerability Mapper (or TVM), was installed in the analysis center of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate in December 2003 and is already in constant use. Developed by the S&T Directorate, the TVM provides counterterrorism analysts with a simple, straightforward way to not only depict the geographic distribution of threats across the United States, but also to search the underlying databases for information on the possible actors, agents, potential severity of attacks, and extent of the vulnerabilities to and effects of such attacks. A second TVIS component was delivered to IAIP in January 2003 and should be installed and operational by the end of February 2004. Critical Infrastructure Protection Decision Support System On December 24, 2003, S&T’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Decision Support System (CIP/DSS) team was asked to conduct a rapid analysis of potential consequences following discovery of a cow in Washington State with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad Cow disease. An analysis was developed within hours using available open literature, past historical data, and the results from an early stage, Dynamic Simulation agriculture model. Cybersecurity Experimental Infrastructure Network for Cyber Defense Led by the S&T Directorate, DHS is co-funding with the National Science Foundation a $5.45M, three-year research project to create an experimental infrastructure network to support development and demonstration of next generation information security technologies for cyber defense. This project supports national-scale experimentation on emerging security research and advanced development technologies. Called Cyber Defense Technology Experimental Research (“DETER”) Network, this is a multi-university project led by the University of California, Berkley. Evaluation Methods in Internet Security Technology DHS is co-funding with the National Science Foundation, a second cyber security project called Evaluation Methods in Internet Security Technology (EMIST). EMIST is a testing framework that can be adapted to simulators, emulation facilities, other testbeds, and hardware testing facilities. The framework will include attack scenarios, attack simulators, generators for topology and background traffic, data sets derived from live traffic, and tools to monitor and summarize results. EMSIT is a three-year, $5.6M, multi-university research project that includes Penn State; University of California, Davis; Purdue; and the International Computer Science Institute. United States Coast Guard Maritime Surveillance Testbed Prototype In September 2003, S&T’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and the United States Coast Guard planned and funded the South Florida Coastal Surveillance Prototype Testbed, a port and coastal surveillance prototype in Port Everglades, Miami, and Key West areas. The prototype is an evolutionary testbed that: · Provides an initial immediate coastal surveillance capability in a high priority area · Offers the Coast Guard and other DHS agencies the means to develop and evaluate CONOPS (Concept of Operations) in a real world environment · Implements and tests interoperability among DHS and DoD systems and networks such as the US Navy/Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC). · Tests and evaluates systems and operational procedures · Becomes the design standard for follow-on systems in other areas and integration with wider area surveillance systems. The program has two phases; an initial prototype development phase, and an improvements and update phase. The program is expected to begin operations in June 2004 and is funded at $2.4M for FY 2003 and $5M for FY 2004 . Partnerships Workshop on Scientific Computing in Support of Homeland Security The Science and Technology Directorate brought together experts from academia, private industry and the national laboratories with staff from various organizations within the Department to understand how the S&T Directorate’s advanced scientific computing (ASC) capabilities, centered at the national laboratories, can help address needs across the Department. This workshop, held October 8-9, 2003, has resulted in identifying several areas of potential high payoff for the use of these unique capabilities; two examples are advanced research in data management and information extraction, and research and development of computational simulation tools. The workshop will produce a formal report identifying relevant ASC capabilities and matching them up with identified needs within the Department of Homeland Security for improved operational capabilities. Infrastructure Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council Staff members of the Science and Technology Directorate had a major role in drafting the first charter for the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC’s) Infrastructure Subcommittee; the Subcommittee’s first Co-Chairs are from the S&T Directorate and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Subcommittee serves as a forum within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) for developing consensus and resolving issues associated with coordinating R&D agendas, policy, and programs to develop and protect the nation’s infrastructure. The Subcommittee will also be the vehicle used by the Department of Homeland Security and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop the National R&D Plan for Critical Infrastructure Protection. Homeland Security Standards Panel The S&T Directorate worked with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish a Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP) that would coordinate the development of consensus standards among the 280 different standards development organizations. On June 9-10, 2003, the inaugural meeting of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel was held at NIST. Plenary session presentations were given by four S&T Directorate staff members to outline the needs in Department for standards. The panel selected a small list of topics to address with focus workshops. The first of these occurred in September 2003 with a focus on needs for standards in biometrics. Joint DHS/USDA National Strategy for Foreign Animal Disease At the request of the Congressional Appropriations Committees for both DHS and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the two departments have coordinated a report on a national strategy for foreign animal disease. Participants in the joint study included DHS (S&T), USDA (the Agricultural Research Service and the Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service), and stakeholder groups. The joint study has prompted an end-to-end review of the national response strategy following the identification of a case of foot-and-mouth disease, including the R&D requirements and gaps for assays, diagnostics, vaccines, and antivirals. Comprehensive roadmaps have been developed for these research areas, in one-, three-, and five-year timeframes. These roadmaps are important elements of program planning for S&T. Workshops on Comparative Analysis S&T’s Office of Comparative Studies has sponsored two workshops on identifying analysis techniques and information sources crucial for analyzing the interaction of the terrorist threat with S&T activities. These workshops brought together participants from two DHS directorates, other government entities, academia and private industry and have helped to improve communication between these groups. Important analytical techniques and sources of information were identified and have been utilized. The workshops were also used to establish a set of topics which the office could profitably study. A proposal is being prepared which will solicit work on several of these topics. Homeland Security Institute, and Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee Homeland Security Institute A formal solicitation was issued in December for the Homeland Security Institute (HSI), and proposals were received in January 2004. Those proposals currently are being evaluated with an expected five-year award by early May 2004. However, current legislation states that the Institute’s operation will terminate in November 2005; this issue is of concern to the bidders. The HSI was mandated by the Homeland Security Act to assist the Secretary and the Department in addressing important homeland security issues that require scientific, technical, and analytical expertise. The Institute will provide a dedicated, high-quality technical and analytical support capability for informing homeland security decision making at all levels. This capability will consist of an extensive program of operational assessments, systems evaluations, technical assessments, and resource analyses comparable to the capability developed and used for decades by the Defense establishment. The Institute will also provide analytical and technical evaluations that support DHS implementation of the SAFETY Act. Finally, the Institute will create and maintain a field operations program that will help further introduce real-world needs and experiences into homeland security is a disciplined and rigorous way. Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee The Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) was formally established in December 2003 and holds its first meeting in February 2004. The HSSTAC was mandated by the Homeland Security Act to be a source of independent, scientific and technical planning advice for the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. The committee will (1) advise the Undersecretary on the mission goals for the future; (2) provide advice on whether the policies, actions, management processes, and organization constructs of the Science and Technology Directorate are optimally focused on mission objectives; (3) provide advice on whether the research, development, test, evaluation, and systems engineering activities are properly resourced (capital, financial, and human) to accomplish the objectives; (4) identify outreach activities (particularly in accessing and developing, where necessary, the industrial base of the Nation); and (5) review the technical quality and relevance of the Directorate’s programs. Countermeasures to Man-Portable Air Defense Systems The S&T Directorate has selected three firms to provide analyses of the economic, manufacturing and maintenance issues needed to support a system to address the potential threat of MAN-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) to commercial aircraft. The next phase of the program will include development of prototypes using existing technology which will be subjected to a rigorous test and evaluation process. This initiative is not intended to develop new technology, but rather to re-engineer existing technology from military to commercial aviation use. University and Fellowship Programs Fellowships and Scholarships In September 2003, the S&T Directorate named 100 students to the inaugural class of the Department of Homeland Security’s Scholars and Fellows Program. The program, which received more than 2,400 applications, supports United States students who choose to pursue scientific careers and perform research in fields that are essential to the homeland security mission. The first class consists of 50 undergraduate students and 50 graduate students who are attending universities across the country majoring in the physical, biological, and social and behavioral sciences including science policy, engineering, mathematics, or computer science. The Directorate has already issued a notice inviting applications from students for the 2004-2005 academic year. The website is http://www.orau.gov/dhsed/. University Centers of Excellence The Science and Technology division has created the Homeland Security Centers Program that supports university-based centers of excellence dedicated to fostering homeland security mission critical research and education. The program has established the first Center of Excellence focused on risk analysis and modeling related to the economic consequences of terrorism at the University of Southern California, partnering with the University of Wisconsin at Madison, New York University and the University of California at Berkeley. A request for proposals has been issued for the second and third Centers of Excellence, which will focus on animal-related and post-harvest food agro-terrorism. Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency Near-Term Technologies In May 2003, the Science and Technology Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) released a Broad Agency Announcement through the Technical Support Working Group for near-term technologies that can be rapidly prototyped and deployed to the field. A total of 3,344 responses as received in the following broad categories: chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear countermeasures; personnel protection; explosives detection; infrastructure protection; physical security; improvised device defeat; and investigative support and forensics. The first contract award went to North Carolina State University for the development of the next-generation of structural fire fighting personal protective equipment. Detection Systems The S&T Directorate reviewed and selected proposals for funding in response to its Research Announcement for Detection Systems for Biological and Chemical Countermeasures, which was published through the Technical Support Working Group. In September 2003, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) held its first Bidders Conference in Washington, DC. Approximately 420 private sector and university representatives attended the event and over 500 white papers were submitted. Finalists have been selected for negotiation, and work has already begun in a number of the more important areas. Virtual Cyber Security Center On December 13, 2003, a Request for Proposals and Statement of Work for technical and administrative support for the virtual Cyber R&D Center was published to seven capable performers listed on the GSA schedule. The deadline for response was December 15, 2003, and two responsive proposals were received. A three million dollar technical, management, and administrative contract was awarded to SRI International on February 2, 2004, to support the functions of the HSARPA Cyber R&D Center. The Cyber R&D Center will be the primary S&T interface with the academic and industrial cyber security research communities. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Solicitation On November 13, 2003, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) issued a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Solicitation. The purpose of this solicitation was to invite small businesses to submit innovative research proposals that address eight high-priority DHS requirements: · New system/ technologies to detect low vapor pressure chemicals (e.g., Toxic Industrial Chemicals) · Chemical and biological sensors employing novel receptor scaffolds · Advanced low cost aerosol collectors for surveillance sensors and personnel monitoring · Computer modeling tool for vulnerability assessment of U.S. infrastructure · Ship compartment inspection device · Marine Asset Tag Tracking System · Automatic Identification System tracking and collision avoidance equipment for small boats · Advanced Secure Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and related distributed control systems. By the December 15, 2003, deadline 374 proposals had been received. The evaluation is complete and 66 proposers entered negotiation for Phase I contracts beginning February 11, 2004. International Programs Agreement with Canada on Border and Infrastructure Security On October 3, 2002, Secretary Tom Ridge and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley initialed an agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation for protecting shared critical infrastructure and enhancing border security. The S&T Directorate is participating in a Working Group to develop near-term deliverables and projects to protect shared critical infrastructure such as bridges, dams, pipelines, communications and power grids; to develop surveillance and monitoring technologies to enhance the ability to disrupt and interdict terrorists; and to develop technologies for detecting the illicit transportation of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Incident Management Between March and December of 2003, the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations and Incident Management (WMDO-IM) provided surveillance and operational incident response to the Homeland Security Operations Center and law enforcement officials on 24 separate occasions. In addition, the WMDO-IM provided operational support to the Homeland Security Operations Center during Hurricane Isabel and the Northeast blackout. The WMDO-IM established a scientific reach-back and rapid decision support capability through the Scientific and Technical Analysis and Response Teams (START). In addition to activating the START teams during the Code Orange time period in December 2003, WMDO-IM provided technical expert consultations on threats to the nation’s water resources and responded to concerns about impacts of solar flares WMDO-IM helped develop the Initial National Response Plan (INRP) and its National Incident Management System; the INRP represents a significant first step towards an overall goal of integrating the current family of Federal domestic prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery plans into a single all-discipline, all-hazards plan. WMDO-IM provided technical support to the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC), assessing vulnerabilities and actions the HSOC can take to improve the ability to resist a chemical or biological terrorist attack WMDO-IM, with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, developed curriculum for a week-long training workshop on weapons of mass destruction for the Central Intelligence Agency University. Also in the area of education and training, WMDO-IM established a homeland security medical executive training course.
Witness Panel 2
Dr. George Happ
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee regarding the important subject of Homeland Security. The events of September 11, 2001, focused the Nation’s attention on the internal and external threats to our Homeland’s Security. Congress and the Administration have recognized that new resources will need to be provided to ensure the safety and security of American citizens and the institutions that serve them. Congress quickly passed and the President signed legislation creating a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which became operational on March 1, 2003. This Department is faced with an overwhelming task of bringing together the many disparate governmental entities charged with security-related tasks. DHS was also tasked with providing the intramural and extramural support for research and development (R&D) activities that would form the scientific underpinnings to support DHS’ technological needs and requirements. The core of my testimony is that the resources that are being directed to Homeland Security research issues must address issues and challenges in all geographic areas of our country. The threats to American security are not limited to any one city, state, or region. Significant levels of scientific and technological (S&T) responsibilities are being focused in DHS, along with the funding needed to carry out these duties. This focus of responsibilities and funds is anticipated to continue “ramping up” over the next few years. Since the creation of DHS in 2003, it has become increasingly clear that the threats to the Nation are not restricted to any one geographical region. For example, long and undefended borders with our Northern and Southern neighbors and our extended coastlines open up endless possibilities for entry of bio-terrorism agents in places that have never had to prepare for an attack before. As a result, every state and locality is helping to bear the financial and personnel costs associated with the defense of our Society. My home state Alaska and ten other states share the longest unprotected border in the world with Canada. · Alaska has almost 7,000 miles of coastline and 33,000 miles of shoreline - exceeding that of the combined Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts of the continental US. Alaskan fishermen supply salmon, halibut, and other seafood to the nation’s, and the world’s, dinner tables. · Anchorage is nine hours by air from 95% of the industrialized world – essentially equidistant from Frankfurt, Tokyo and New York, and thus is a prime refueling site for cargo jets. In 2002, Anchorage was second only to Memphis in having the most cargo landed weight in the United States, and ranked third in the world for most cargo landed weight. When you look at the globe from the top, you can clearly see why Anchorage is the "Air Crossroads to the World." · Alaska is also the crossroads for migratory birds from Asia and North America, which makes my state the likely “prime reaction vessel” for the viruses that will threaten to cause the next global influenza pandemic. These are but three examples of areas where Homeland Security issues, border security, transportation, biodefense, and food security issues have a direct impact on Alaska, as well as the Nation. These vital national challenges need to be addressed where they arise – in Alaska. Because of climate and distances, a “one size fits all” approach will not suffice to address these critical biodefense issues, which are sited in Alaska. Likewise, other states have their own unique issues that relate to Homeland Security. I would suggest that the universities in each of the Nation’s geographic areas offer special geographic advantages and have some very important resources of their own that, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, can be brought to bear on the national effort, and which can advance the mission of the Department to protect America from terrorist threats and attacks. DHS’ plans for homeland defense already draw heavily on the Nation’s academic S&T expertise, an area where the U.S. has a strategic advantage over our enemies. There appears to be general agreement that, if the Nation is to maintain this advantage, the academic sector must continue to train “world class” scientists and engineers who will enter the highly technical “security” work force. Historically, this work force has come from many types of institutions in many regions with particular characteristics. Well-trained S&T professionals are produced at universities and colleges with strong science and engineering departments, characterized by vigorous research on “cutting edge” issues. Graduate and undergraduate students (the future S&T work force) in these departments have “hands on” experience with state-of-the-art scientific equipment, and real “bench top” experience on competitive research projects. The current DHS portfolio of research activities does not fully benefit from the involvement of universities in the 24 states and two territories that compromise what is known as the EPSCoR community. EPSCoR states historically have received lesser amounts of federal R&D funding. Let me cite a few examples of the current disparity. · In 2003, the DHS established the university-based Homeland Security Centers of Excellence initiative to enhance the Nation's Homeland Security. The HS-Centers are to be critical components of America’s defenses by providing a dedicated capability that will enhance the nation’s ability to anticipate, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks. DHS has authorized the formation of three centers to this point, the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense, the University Center for Post-Harvest Food Protection and Defense, and the Homeland Security Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. Each center has a lead institution located in one state, and a group of institutions located across the country that partner with the lead. · Of the three lead institutions none are located in the 26 EPSCoR jurisdictions. Of the 18 institutions that act as partners of the center, only one is located at an institution in an EPSCoR state and that is North Dakota State University, which has connections with only one center. · Of the fourteen states that contain either a lead institution or a partnering institution, only one is an eligible EPSCoR state. · The DHS also provides funding to “fellows” and “scholars”; again these awards are distributed disproportionately. Of the 51 fellows recognized by DHS, only two, Jennifer M. Hughes of Mississippi State University and Amanda B. DuBois of Tulane University, were associated with an institution from a participating EPSCoR state. · Of the 50 recognized scholars, only 12 were associated with EPSCoR institutions, representing just seven EPSCoR states (Alabama, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, South Carolina and Louisiana). This pattern of DHS funding is resulting in missed opportunities to strengthen the Nation’s defenses through targeted research related to Homeland Security issues. I would like to cite a few examples of how research universities in EPSCoR states have an existing expertise that is available now to advance the mission of DHS. · Influenza viruses from southern Asia and from across North America are carried to Alaska inside migrating ducks, and on the duck nesting grounds across Alaska, these viruses from different geographic origins have a chance to exchange genes and become very virulent to people. The bird flu pandemic in 1918 killed 20-40 million people; Alaska is expected to be the source of the next outbreaks. Field biologists at the University of Alaska are already collecting many samples of the bird viruses and sending them to the CDC and USDA for analysis. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the home of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center. Computational biologists in Fairbanks are working with colleagues at UCLA, Los Alamos, CDC in Atlanta, and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology to analyze the genes of the influenza virus and thus to understand why the 1918 virus became so deadly so suddenly and how the viral genes are turned on and turned off. Other research is proceeding at the University on infectious agents like that for tularemia – a Category A pathogen of the highest national priority for research against bioterrorism. Detecting such pathogens by microsensors is a potential area of expertise for our recently established Center for Nanotechnology. · In Nebraska, which ranks first in the nation in commercial livestock slaughter and fourth in corn production, the University of Nebraska’s (UN) Center for Biosecurity was established in 2002 to focus on minimizing agro-terrorism/environmental threats. UN researchers have expertise in the detection of pathogens in food processing, remote sensing of biological changes and threats to food crops, safeguarding water supplies, tracking the spread of disease in the environment, and decision support for risk management for agricultural systems. · In Nevada, where the state’s unique tourism centers results in unique Homeland Security issues that effect travelers from across the world, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) research expertise can be applied to air- and water-safety threats, bioterrorism/chemical terrorism, infrastructure security issues related to bridges and buildings, and threats to microwave and optical communications. · In Maine, which has 611 miles of border with Canada and almost 3,500 miles of open shoreline, the University of Maine, the Bigelow Lab, and the state’s other research institutions have existing ocean observing systems and modeling systems that provide real time observations. The expertise is already being used to study optimal security perimeter strategies, including border management through the coordination of various agencies from both the U.S. and Canada. · Kansas has considerable expertise at the intersection of the biological and information sciences. For example, researchers have developed predictive models of the spread of emerging diseases, the spread of potential bioterrorism agents, and biological phenomenon in the environment. They have developed sensors for biodefense and biomedical devices, modeling algorithms for the identification of unknown protein structures, ground-based sampling networks for monitoring and analyzing air borne chemicals, and best practices for responding to threat incidences in the agricultural community. · Clemson University has expertise in the development of polymer nanoparticles for the detection of bioterrorism agents in agricultural products. Other expertise exists within a historically funded wireless communications program having defense and homeland security applications. The Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (USC) has one of nineteen national Bioterrorism Centers that is in active partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and other security agencies. USC and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have accomplishments in advanced technologies for biosurveillance and risk mitigation for coastal resources. MUSC also has significant capacity in novel methods for the development of vaccines. · The state of Mississippi's comprehensive educational institutions all conduct research and technology development in areas of interest to Homeland Security. From remote sensing and defense related research at Jackson State University, engineering and protection of agricultural and forestry resources at Mississippi State University, polymer science and marine science expertise at the University of Southern Mississippi, to 4th amendment, space and aviation law issues, and acoustic sensor technologies at the University of Mississippi, the state holds these and numerous other research capabilities available to assist DHS and other agencies in accomplishing the mission of protecting and preventing our homeland from terrorism. Mississippi’s research universities also partner with federal installations within the state including NASA's Stennis Space Center, the Navy's Oceanographic and Meteorological Command, and the Army's Engineering and Research Development Center to further the nation's research and technology development. · In West Virginia, which is adjacent to our Nation's Capitol, West Virginia University (WVU) is recognized globally as the leading institution in biometrics research and identification authentification technology. WVU's Biometric Knowledge Center collaborates with other universities and more than a dozen federal agencies or facilities including the FBI, NSF, Defense and Homeland Security to provide cutting-edge research and security advances. At Marshall University, Homeland Security is bolstered by transportation, forensic sciences, and DNA tracing research targeting water supply security along the largest number of state stream miles in the eastern United States. EPSCoR researchers can enhance the ability of DHS to identify the specific nature of potential threats, and contribute to the success of DHS in devising strategies for dealing with these threats, which requires regional and local S&T expertise. In devising protections against potential threats, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Military preparedness plans recognized this in a global setting long ago, and developed expertise that could be applied to various international areas. Likewise, efficient forecasting of and defense against terrorist threats must include widespread S&T expertise. S&T work force training must also not be overly centralized and it must offer opportunities to diverse populations and rural populations. As part of its overall mission, DHS should be proactive in ensuring that the research universities in all regions and states of the Nation fully participate in developing the technological expertise needed for homeland defense. This is especially important with regard to training the future S&T work force that will be employed in national security areas. The beneficial results upon academic S&T training and research will more than compensate the DHS investment costs.
Mr. Ned Norris, Jr.
TESTIMONY OF THE HONORABLE NED NORRIS, JR., VICE-CHAIR OF THE TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION-ARIZONA BEFORE THE SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON S. 2295 BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION ACT June 17, 2004 I. INTRODUCTION Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, I am Ned Norris, Jr., Vice-Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona. On behalf of the Nation, I am submitting this statement in support of S.2295. I also request the Committee's favorable consideration of a proposed amendment to the bill that reflects the unique border security challenges that derive from the 75-mile stretch of international border that the Tohono O'odham Reservation shares with Mexico. Our proposed amendment is attached at the end of this testimony. We fully support the purposes and objectives of S.2295 to set forth a comprehensive strategic framework to improve border security and to more effectively coordinate law enforcement efforts among the Federal, State and Tribal Governments who have jurisdiction along America's international borders. Before addressing the specifics of our current border security infrastructure and communications capabilities and vulnerabilities, my statement will provide general background about the Nation as well as the background and extent of our current border security crisis. II. BACKGROUND The Tohono O'odham Nation (“Nation”) is a federally recognized Indian Tribe in South Central Arizona with over 28,000 enrolled tribal members. The Tohono O'odham Reservation consists of four non-contiguous parcels totaling more than 2.8 million acres in the Sonoran Desert, and is the second largest Indian Reservation in the United States. The largest community, Sells, is the Nation's capital. The 75-mile southern border of our Reservation is the longest shared international border of any Indian Tribe in the United States. As a federally recognized Indian Tribe, the Nation possesses sovereign governmental authority over our members and our territory. Accordingly, the Nation provides governmental services to one of the largest Indian populations in America and is responsible for managing one of the largest Indian reservations in the America. Moreover, the Nation spends approximately $7 million annually from tribal revenues to meet the United States' border security responsibilities. The Nation's longest international border of any Tribe in the United States has created an unprecedented homeland security crises for America. Prior to European contact, the aboriginal lands of the O'odham extended east to the San Pedro River, West to the Colorado River, South to the Gulf of California, and North to the Gila River. In 1848 the United States and Mexico negotiated the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which among other things, established the southern boundary of the United States. The Treaty placed the aboriginal lands of the O'odham in Mexico. In 1854 through the Gadsden Purchase, the United States and Mexico further defined the southern boundary by placing the boundary at its present location cutting into the heart of our aboriginal territory. Consequently the boundary displaced our people on both sides of the international border bisecting O'odham lands and separating our people from relations, cultural sites and ceremonies, and access to much needed health care, housing, and transportation. Not surprisingly, neither the United States nor Mexico consulted with the O'odham during the Treaty negotiations in 1848 and 1854. Respect for the sovereign status of the O'odham was simply ignored. Unfortunately, the lack of consultation or input from the O'odham continued throughout the generations leaving us with a modern-day border security crisis that has caused shocking devastation of our land and resources. The genesis of this crisis stems from the development and implementation of the U.S. government's border policy in the last decade. Again, without the benefit of consulting with us, federal border security policy was developed focusing on closing down what were considered to be key points of entry along the U.S. southern border. This policy was implemented by extensively increasing manpower and resources at ports of entry and located at popular entry points such as San Diego (CA), Yuma (AZ), and El Paso (TX). Rather than preventing illegal immigration into America, this policy created a funnel effect causing the flow of undocumented immigrants, drug traffickers, and other illegal activity to shift to other less regulated spots on the border. Consequently, because of the lack of border security resources and attention to the Nation, illegal immigration through our Reservation has become a prime avenue of choice for undocumented immigrants and drug trafficking activities traveling into the United States. This has created urgent challenges to protect against possible terrorists coming through a very vulnerable location on our Reservation. Although the Nation has neither the sufficient manpower nor the resources to adequately address this crisis, we continue to be the first line of defense in protecting America's homeland security interests in this highly volatile and dangerous region. III. BORDER SECURITY CRISIS ON THE TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION The modern day consequences of the border security crisis facing the Nation is indeed devastating to our members, our lands, our culture and precious resources. While illegal immigrant and drug trafficking have decreased on other parts of the southern border of the United States, levels have sky-rocketed on the Nation causing a flood of crime, chaos and environmental destruction on our Reservation. Currently, it has been conservatively estimated that over 1,500 immigrants illegally cross daily into the United States via our Reservation. A Border Patrol spokesman recently reported that the Nation is in the “busiest corridor of illegal immigration in the [America].” Tribal members live in fear for the safety of their families and their properties. Often times, homes are broken into by those desperate for food, water and shelter.The Nation's seventy-one member police force provides primary border security law enforcement services against the unrelenting and increasing traffic of undocumented immigrants and drug traffickers who cross our border to enter America. The Nation has sustained a loss of millions of dollars annually in manpower, health care, sanitation, theft and destruction of our property and lands from the relentless flow of illegal immigration. Equally devastating is the adverse impact on our cultural resources and traditions as our Tribal elders no longer gather ceremonial plants in the desert for fear of their safety. The Nation stands on the front line of this crisis without receiving any funding from the Department of Homeland Security although the 75 mile international border along the Reservation's boundary is “one of the busiest illegal entry points in the country” according to a recent Los Angeles Times report. Indeed, the statistics are staggering: * In 2004 alone, 27,130 undocumented immigrants have been detained and arrested crossing the border on our Reservation. * Since October 2003, approximately 180,000 pounds of narcotics have been seized. * There are 160 known illegal crossings along the 75 mile shared border with Mexico — in 36 locations, there are no barriers at all. * In 2003, sixty-nine people died on our Reservation crossing the border leaving the Nation to pay for the burial and related costs. The Nation pays for autopsy costs at $1,400.00 per body out of tribal police funds. * The Nation loses approximately $2 million annually from our allocation of Indian Health Care funding due to emergency health care treatment of undocumented immigrants taken to our health clinic. * The Nation is forced to address the 6 tons of trash a day that is littered on our Reservation by fleeing undocumented immigrants. This predicament has caused serious environmental problems and contributes to the 113 open pit dumps on our Reservation that need to be cleaned up. Moreover, the Tohono O'odham Nation Police Department (TONPD) has stretched its resources to the limit and now spends $3 million of its tribal resources annually in response to border related incidents. To date, the Nation has expended $7 millions dollars in tribal resources on Homeland security issues, which is clearly a federal responsibility. For example: * On an average day, every public safety officer in the TONPD spends 60% of his or her time working on border related issues. * In 1999, our Tribal Officers assisted the border patrol with 100 undocumented immigrant apprehensions per month. * In 2002, our Tribal Officers recorded 6,000 undocumented immigrants detained pending U.S. Border patrol pick up. * In 2002 and 2003, 1,500 undocumented immigrants crossed our tribal lands each day. * Illegal narcotics seizures have more than doubled in the last 3 years to over 65,000 lbs. in 2002. * It is no longer just Mexican nationals crossing our reservation land. Over the last year, undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and Central America have been apprehended on our Nation. * In 2002, 4,300 vehicles were used for illegal drug and immigrant smuggling. A total of 517 stolen vehicles were recovered on tribal land. * From January 2003 to today, 2,675 abandoned vehicles were found on the reservation with 308 stolen vehicles used for criminal activities en route to Mexico. These vehicles were stolen in Tucson, Phoenix, and Chandler etc and used for illegal activity. * Since January 2003, 48 undocumented immigrant deaths from heat and exposure were investigated by Tribal Police. A total number of 7 staff members are in the criminal investigations unit. * The Tribal Police pay for autopsy costs at $1,400.00 per body out of tribal police funds. * In 2003, Tribal police investigated 10 vehicle crashes involving undocumented immigrants. * In FY 2002-2003, the U.S. Border Patrol-Casa Grande Sector apprehended 55,514 undocumented immigrants on our lands. Many other areas on the Nation, such as our limited hospital and ambulance services have been similarly negatively affected. Overall, it is estimated that the Nation expends $7 million of its tribal resources annually on services directly relating to border issues. Part of the expenditure relates to health care and environmental clean up services. When the Nation pays for federal responsibilities, we are unable to address much needed education, health care, housing, roads, infrastructure issues, to name a few. Below are a couple of key examples. * In 2003, the Indian Health Service (IHS)-Sells Service Unit spent $500,000.00 on emergency health care services to undocumented immigrants, for example, for those at risk of dying from dehydration. These funds are not reimbursed to IHS and result in the inability of certain tribal members to receive health care services that are allocated for their benefit. * The Nation spends millions of dollars a year to pay for the 6 tons of trash per day left by undocumented immigrants and the Nation is faced with cleaning up the 113 open pit dumps on the Reservation. * There are 758 homes on the Reservation (20% of all homes on the Reservation) are without potable water and 1,393 (38% of all homes) are without a sewer or water system. Many of the residents at these homes use either hand-dug or agricultural wells for drinking water and are exposed to contaminants such as fecal coliform, arsenic and fluoride in excess of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards. The total need to construct suitable drinking water and waste water systems for these homes is estimated at $24.4 million. IV. DEMONSTRATED NEED FOR IMPROVED COORDINATION, ASSESSMENT OF VULNERABILITIES AND ENHANCED COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITIES IN SECURING THE BORDER. The Tohono O'odham Nation is working as diligently as possible on border security protection. However, the current crisis is overwhelming us. We need immediate and substantial assistance. We have limited border infrastructure: the 75 miles of international border that stretches along our Reservation is protected by a three-strand barbwire fence, at least in places where the fence is still standing. The fence is down in most places, cut down by perpetual stream of illegal crossers. Our surveillance capabilities are similarly limited, with respect to ground and aerial surveillance. We have basic communications capabilities. The 75 mile stretch of international border along the Tohono O'odham Nation continues to be very vulnerable due to the limited border infrastructure and the extreme lack of resources and technology along the border. Moreover, the ever increasing influx of undocumented immigrants and narcotics crossing through our Reservation renders the region an extremely difficult and dangerous area to secure. With respect to coordination, we are currently working with the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) and coordinating our efforts under the Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABCI). The Tohono O'odham Nation Police Department (TONPD) through a joint effort with the Border Area Narcotics Network (BANN) and COBIJA operation (used along the Borders of TX, NM, AZ and CA) provide a high intensity deterrence of narcotic and undocumented immigrant smuggling on our Reservation. The TONPD participates in the sharing of statistical data and intelligence information with the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) center. The TONPD works well with Federal, State and Tribal agencies throughout Arizona, and domestic and foreign entities. The BCBP provides air support at the request of the TONPD, when it is available. * Interoperability For The Tohono O'odham Nation Over the past four years, a top border security priority for the Tohono O'odham Nation has been to gain interoperability between first responders: TONPD, Tohono O'odham Fire Department (TOFD) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) contracted under Indian Health Service (IHS). The TONPD has limited communication ability with BCPB through an ACU 1000. The key challenge in gaining interoperability is the disparity of radio frequency being used between the first responder agencies. The TONPD was established using initially a 400 megahertz (Mhz) frequency, that was later upgraded to its current 800 Mhz status. When the TOFD was established, a joint agreement with IHS added the TOFD to IHS's existing 700 Mhz frequency, which also included EMS. As a result, the three first responder agencies have two different frequencies to serve one community. The cost to bring at least the tribal agencies (TONPD and TOFD) under one frequency was estimated to cost over one million dollars, but would only provide 75% coverage for the 4600 square miles just for the contiguous land mass. Interoperability requires not only a common frequency, but also a common communications center. Many of the grant opportunities that exist do not include funding for brick and mortar, thus funding opportunities for equipment and technical assistance have little utility without an operational facility. Currently, our first responders communicate between two dispatch centers with equipment and frequencies that are not common, thus debilitating our response time and service capability to our communities. For instance, a 911 call that is placed by a community member is placed with TONPD, then transferred to EMS through a land line and then passed on to TOFD to create the loop. But when seconds are minutes in a crisis this only challenges the critical hour that is needed to get assistance to that member. The now aging equipment requires a maintenance agreement that costs the Nation over $30,000 annually to support that supplies them with unsecured and non-trunked communications that potentially is a safety hazard in some situations. Within the boundaries of the contiguous land mass of the Reservation, there is a heavy presence of federal agencies such as Border Patrol, U.S. Customs, FBI and others who provide support for drug trafficking, human trafficking, and incursions by undocumented immigrants. The TONPD is a community-based policing agency that has been compelled by our unique circumstances to carry our federal border security/law enforcement responsibilities. The lack of interoperability between these federal agencies and the TONPD has exacerbated the already overburdened resources we expend on federal border security efforts. With the increasing traffic of illegal immigration, interoperability between Border Patrol and the TONPD is necessary to request, assist and direct those resources (Border Patrol, BORSTAR) to properly manage border security responsibilities which in turn, will allow the TONPD to focus on community policing. * The Impact Of The 9/11 Incident On Interoperability The unfortunate and tragic events of 9-11 brought the need for interoperability to the forefront of almost all policing and law enforcement agencies, and such focus is now on border security, including on our stretch of the international border. The increased attention however has divided our time and resources between federal initiatives, state initiatives, county initiatives to secure our border. From our perspective, we see that the Federal, State and County players want to manage and be in charge, but no one wants to provide direct funding to us for our ongoing border security efforts and unmet needs. To gain attention to our plight, we began pursuing every avenue to tell the story of the drugs, the flood of illegal immigration, and other contraband crossing our lands. Recently a passport that was located on the Reservation that was owned by a middle easterner thought to be involved in terrorism. Although the matter was later cleared up, it demonstrates the extreme vulnerabilities that exist on our stretch of the international border. During a meeting with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Phoenix, a representative of the Department of Homeland Security took strong interest in the matters that were occurring on the Tohono O'odham Nation. Mr. Charles Cape, who was then the Senior Advisor of Wireless Telecommunication at the department of Homeland Security (DHS) visited and met with our tribal leadership to discuss the interoperability issue. The Department of Information and Technology (DIT) was given charge of working with Mr. Cape and DHS to create interoperability. During this process of working with DHS, it became quite evident that this new agency lacked an understanding of tribal culture, tradition and government to effectively work with through complex issues of tribal governance. Mr. Cape worked with us in developing a three phase project to provide interoperability on our Reservation. Phase one, which included interoperability between the TONPD and Border Patrol, has progressed with the purchase of an ACU-1000. The ACU-1000 can simultaneously cross-band two or more different radio networks, connect a radio network to a telephone line (or SATCOM system), or even create a conference call between several different radio networks and a caller on the telephone line. The ACU-1000 was given to the Tohono O'odham Nation, but resides within the dispatch center of the Border Patrol due to the lack of space at either one of our dispatch centers. Ultimately, it will be placed with our dispatch center and we would control the communications between the different agencies. Mr. Cape eventually moved on within the DHS, and others were left to continue the project. IN his absence, it appears that the agency's level of commitment has declined as the project appears to have been given less priority. Department of Information and Technology (DIT) continues to meet with Border Patrol in overseeing telecommunication of the Southwest Region, and continues to work on moving the interoperability project forward, but only in incremental steps due to the department's lack of authority within the greater DHS agency. Moreover, Border Patrol has offered to provide maintenance on our existing radio equipment, but since they lost a key communications tower on Mt. Lemmon, they have been unable to provide support in a timely manner. There has been some discussion that there is money identified in the federal FY05 budget to purchase a digital trunked system for the southwest region and the use of federal secured frequencies would be used by the Nation. * Current State of Interoperability As of June 2004, there has been movement to complete phase one of gaining interoperability between our first responders. In a recent meeting with Border Patrol, DIT and EMS, Border Patrol agreed to loan equipment to the Indian Health Service through a federal interagency loan agreement which would allow IHS's outdated equipment to be compliant interface with the ACU-1000. DIT is pushing for full interoperability between first responders by July 2004. Since the passage of the Pima County Bond for communication system for the county, DIT along with TONPD, TOFD, EMS and the state Director of Public Safety are completing a survey regarding existing infrastructure, and current communications systems, frequencies and dispatch locations for the purpose of developing a strategic plan to spend the bond revenue. At this juncture, we are unaware of the impact this strategic plan will have on the Tohono O'odham Nation. * Other Concerns Regarding Interoperability When the state became involved with interoperability, the state Office of Homeland Security and Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS), attempted to take over Quijtoa Ridge, by negotiating with Tohono O'odham Utility Authority to occupy over half of the space in their building on the ridge, they proposed antennae placement utilizing over half of the space, almost 10 time the current space that they are currently using. There was no discussion on whether the Nation would be benefactors in the use of their planned communication system, and DHS, at that time, reportedly was not aware of the plans that the state has in developing interoperability cooperatively with the affected federal agencies. In the past, the TONPD has requested tower space on locations such as Childs Mountain, Ajo tower space and tower space near Gila Bend for San Lucy and were provided with costs, but was ultimately notified that “there was not enough space.” In summary, our experience with regard to coordination and cooperation with Federal, State and County governments on border security matters historically has been lacking and ineffective. Though there have been positive steps on opening lines of communication and allowing us to take part in certain initiatives, the Tohono O'odham Nation believes a strategic, comprehensive planning approach to secure the international borders is critically needed. As such, we fully supports the purposes and objectives of the S. 2295. S.2295 will provide much needed congressional direction to more effectively coordinate law enforcement efforts, to candidly and fully assess vulnerabilities, to improve communications capacity and to more equitably allocate resources to improve border security. We fully support the bill's specific inclusion of Indian tribal governments in bill's various provisions. Based on our experience and limited ability to secure homeland security resources, we urge the Committee to favorably act on our proposed amendment to 5. 2295 which would create a pilot project for the purpose of working directly with Tribal Governments on strengthening border security. Existing P.L. 93-638 self-determination contracting authority would be utilized to carry the purposes of the proposed tribal pilot program. The amendment would require the submission of a report to Congress setting forth the accomplishments and barriers of implementing such a program. For too long, we have been absorbing the burdens associated with protecting the border because we must protect our lands and tribal members. Because Indian tribes are not authorized to receive direct homeland security funding, we have faced significant barriers in accessing these resources. Thus, we have not received any significant federal funding or resources for our law enforcement/border security activities, notwithstanding 9-11. Moreover, as a sovereign government, the Tohono O'odham Nation seeks a seat at the table when policy and other important decisions are made that affect us. Our amendment will ensure that we are provided both the resources and afforded proper consultation in this important initiative to strengthen America's international borders. VI. CONCLUSION In closing, on behalf of the Tohono O'odham Nation, I appreciate the opportunity to present this statement to the Committee and respectfully request the Committee's favorable consideration of the Nation's proposed amendment. Proposed Amendment to S. 2295 to establish a Tohono O'odham Nation pilot border project. Amend Title I to add at the end thereof a new Section 108: “SEC. 108. ESTABLISHING PILOT BORDER PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM ON TRIBAL LANDS-- “(a) PURPOSE.—To establish a pilot program to enhance the capability of Tribal governments as first responders upon Tribal lands on or near the international borders of the United States with effective aerial and ground surveillance technologies, integrated communications systems and equipment, health and bioterror monitoring mechanisms, and personnel training, and facilitate the coordination by Tribal governments of their responses with those of federal, state, and local governments to threats and hazards to the defense and security of the United States. “(b) INITIAL PILOT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE BORDER PREPAREDNESS ASSISTANCE.—The Secretary shall establish a pilot program to provide assistance to the Tohono O'odham Nation, a federally recognized Indian Tribal government, that will enhance the capability of this economically distressed Tribe carry out on a demonstration basis the purposes described in subsection (a) and to assist in the effective enforcement of Federal, State and Tribal law against all national security hazards arising from the Tribe's proximity to the international border with Mexico. “(c) EXPANDED PILOT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE BORDER PREPAREDNESS ASSISTANCE.—Upon transmission of the report required in subsection (i), the Secretary shall establish an expanded pilot program to add up to 4 federally recognized Indian Tribal governments, in addition to the Tohono O'odham Nation, to assist in the effective enforcement of Federal, State and Tribal law against all national security hazards arising from their proximity to the international borders of the United States. “(d) ADMINISTRATION OF ASSISTANCE.—For each of fiscal years 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Secretary shall provide funds and other assistance to the Tribal governments under this section pursuant to flexible grant or contract authorities consistent with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, as amended (25 U.S.C. 450b et seq.), and the Tribal governments shall administer this assistance only in accordance with the requirements of that Act. “(e) USES OF ASSISTANCE.—Assistance provided to Tribal governments under this section shall be used consistent with the purposes of subsection (a) and in a manner that develops prototype inter-governmental agreements with Federal, Tribal, State, regional and local governments on strategies designed to coordinate and enhance efforts to defend against hazards to the security of the United States. “(f) AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDS.—For each fiscal year, in providing assistance under subsection (b), the Secretary shall make directly available to the Tohono O'odham Nation such sums as may be necessary to demonstrate the potential worth of such a pilot program. For each fiscal year, in providing assistance under subsection (c), the Secretary shall make directly available to the Tribal governments such sums as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of (a). “(g) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.—Not later than 1 year and 30 days after implementing the pilot program under subsection (b), the Tohono O'odham Nation shall submit a report to the Secretary of Homeland Security which sets out the accomplishments achieved and obstacles encountered. “(h) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 1 year and 90 days after implementing the pilot program under subsection (b), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs and on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and to the House Committees on Science, on Homeland Security, and on Resources, a report describing the implementation of the pilot tribal lands program and any recommendations for improving and expanding the pilot program to other Tribal governments.
Mr. Roger Di Rosa
Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Department of the Interior on national border control and cross-agency law enforcement initiatives at Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Southwest Arizona. I am Roger Di Rosa, refuge manager at Cabeza Prieta. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has a variety of law enforcement responsibilities within the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Service is not the federal agency responsible for international border security. Nevertheless, the natural resources that the Service is responsible for conserving are experiencing damage due to illegal activities such as smuggling and illegal immigration across refuge lands throughout the Southwest. In addition, these illegal activities pose a threat to the safety of volunteers, the public, Service employees and, especially, to our law enforcement officers. The safety of these individuals at Cabeza Prieta is my highest priority. As law enforcement efforts by the Department of Homeland Security’s Border and Transportation Security Directorate have increased around populated areas and ports-of-entry, there has been a shift in smuggling and illegal immigration crossings through more remote lands along the border. Similarly, a large amount of illegal drugs have been smuggled across refuges and other public lands in recent years. For example, more than 100,000 pounds of marijuana was seized on refuge lands last year along the Southwest border. More than 23,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended in 2003 on refuges in Arizona alone. To address these growing problems, the DHS Arizona Border Control Plan is placing additional resources along the Southwest border—they are placing thousands of law enforcement officers along the border with Mexico, and coordination is paramount to ensure the mission of the Service is taken into account when planning and implementing operations there. The Service has also taken steps to address the border issues. For example, the Service has recently implemented the Refuge Law Enforcement Zone System, which provides refuges with technical assistance on law enforcement, institutes reliable record keeping and defensible reviews, enhances training, and promotes communication and coordination. Moreover, the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2005 Budget proposes to place seven new refuge law enforcement officers along the southern border, including at Cabeza Prieta. These added officers will increase our ability to more effectively coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security and our other partners, who have primary responsibility for apprehending illegal immigrants and smugglers. There are eight National Wildlife Refuges, totaling 1.1 million acre, that share 153 miles of the border with Mexico. Currently, there are fewer than 30 Refuge law enforcement officers currently deployed along the Southwest border. The Service has four refuge officers at Cabeza Prieta. These officers cover over 860,000 acres, of which 56 miles form a contiguous border with Mexico. Refuge officers are routinely involved with drug and undocumented alien (UDA) interdiction through their normal patrol activities. Sensors placed on known crossing routes by the U.S. Border Patrol have recorded illegal crossings during the busy migrating months of April, May and June. However, natural resource damage continues to be a problem and our ability to achieve our agency conservation mission has been compromised by increasing illegal activity along the border. In addition to our law enforcement officers, the Service employs refuge biologists and recreation specialists who conduct daily field activities along or near the border. Their safety is a constant concern. Our non-law enforcement personnel on the refuge often conduct field work for extended periods of time in remote areas, often involving overnight stays in the wilderness. The refuge’s size and ruggedness negates the possibility that they can commute back and forth daily to their surveying sites. Due to safety concerns, the refuge has been forced to limit both biological field work and public use programs along or near the border. At Cabeza Prieta, foot and vehicular traffic on lands that have been set aside for wildlife can be extremely disruptive to vegetation and animals, including endangered species, such as the Sonoran pronghorn, that require undisturbed habitat. Hundreds of miles of illegal trails and roads have been created from undocumented aliens crossing through refuge lands. This proliferation of trails and roads damages and destroys cactus and other sensitive vegetation, disrupts re-vegetation efforts, disturbs wildlife and their habitat, and causes soil compaction and erosion. Historically, the Service has not had to be concerned about major homeland security issues, enforcement of immigration laws, and the smuggling of large amounts of illegal contraband. However, the Service has had to adapt its activities in response to the increased focus on homeland security issues in order to more effectively fulfill its mission of conserving wild plants, animals, and habitats. To accomplish this, it has become imperative that the Service, especially at refuges such as Cabeza Prieta along the border, work in conjunction with federal, state, and local agencies whose primary mission is border security. Through multiple agreements and an evolving working relationship, the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Custom and Border Protection's Office of Border Patrol and the Service are continuing to build an effective framework so that both agencies can fulfill their missions. The work the Border Patrol does to accomplish its mission is critical to the Service because their work supports and aids in protecting the resources within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Service is an active partner within the Departmental-level multi-agency workgroup established to implement the Arizona Border Control Initiative. Recognizing that the Border Patrol has specific laws, policies, and mandates that authorize the detection and apprehension of illegal and undocumented aliens entering the United States through refuge lands, a pilot program has been established through multiple Memoranda of Understanding (MOU). Under such MOUs, the Border Patrol has been granted permission to establish two field camps at Cabeza Prieta for more efficient access to border lands, as well as permission to utilize designated roads within the refuge. The Service has also agreed to provide environmental sensitivity training for Border Patrol agents to heighten their awareness of national and local issues as they relate to environmental laws, in order to help protect natural resources within refuges. Presently, the primary increase in law enforcement resources along the border is an increase in the number of agents along the border. The Border Patrol feels that in order to make this initiative fully successful agents must have greater access to protected public lands, and initially asked for exemptions to natural resource laws and regulations. Their reasoning is sound in terms of the accomplishment of the Border Patrol’s mission, and we need to work cooperatively with the Border Patrol – as we have – to minimize the impacts that would result from increased enforcement. In addition, the Border Patrol has always had exemptions for use of mechanized transport in Arizona wilderness areas, and for cross-country travel in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges during emergency situations; and currently enjoys a high degree of latitude for other operational activities that would not be permitted for other parties in these protected areas. We support these activities because they will protect the lands from future degradation that will occur if no action is taken to reduce illegal traffic. After multiple discussions with the Border Patrol and other affected agencies, the Service feels that minimally intrusive structures, technology and equipment, such as electronic surveillance equipment should be evaluated for future use. This can only be done by adding improved technology to the law enforcement toolbox. By doing so, the potential impact to natural resources will be minimized and, to the extent these methods are not sufficient, we will know, by having tried alternatives, that the natural resource impacts are necessary and unavoidable in order to increase national security along the border. Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge has a statutory responsibility to protect its wildlife resource values for their use by future generations of Americans. An effective law enforcement program is a critical element to accomplish that goal. In summary, the Service is encouraged that border control negotiations include conservation and wildlife management concerns and have adopted a more flexible approach that considers all available options. All involved parties support the Department of Homeland Security’s ABC Initiative and are committed to developing the strongest, safest and most effective border control program without jeopardizing wildlife or their habitats. As refuge manger at Cabeza Prieta, I will continue to represent the Service in working with other agencies to solve problems that arise along the border. We do not believe we need to choose between homeland security and other values – such as conservation of natural resources. The effective use of all of the tools in our law enforcement toolbox, including advanced technology, will allow us to fulfill both priorities. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement on border control and cross-agency law enforcement along Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. I would be happy to answer any questions you or the other Members of the Committee might have. Thank you.