High Speed Operational Connectivity (Hi-SOC)
The President's FY 2006 budget request includes an increase of $174 million for High Speed Operational Connectivity (Hi-SOC) to continue US efforts to deploy at more than 200 sites. This request supports a key DHS strategic objective of providing operational end users with the technology and capabilities to detect and prevent terrorist attacks, means of terrorism and other illegal activities. The DHS Office of the Chief Information Office (CIO) Council identifies TSA connectivity as its number one requirement.
Hi-SOC is a critical investment for TSA that will greatly impact DHS's mission performance. Without these funds, 379 out of 600 (63%) field sites, including airports, will continue to communicate and provide security-related information over dial-up Internet connections. As a result, FSDs have reported download times of two or more hours when attempting to access Security Directives, On Line Learning programs, Human Resource capabilities and TSA and DHS websites. Further, at some of the largest airports in the country there is little to no telephone or computer interconnectivity among administrative spaces, screening areas and baggage areas. If a security incident were to occur in one area of the airport, a critical time delay in transmitting information to another key operating element could create a risk of enormous magnitude. Overall, Hi- Soc will:
- Increase Training Efficiency and Screener Effectiveness while minimizing costs. As
of June 22, 2004, TSA has deployed network connectivity to 1,822 of 4,052 (45%) of the
training computers located at 120 of 440 (27%) Federalized airports. This network
connectivity has provided access to the Online Learning Center for these airports, yet the
majority of the Federal screeners must endure long download times or rely on alternate
means to take their mandatory training, making it difficult for them to access programs to
help them stay abreast of the most current security threats. Additionally, supervisors at
these locations must perform manual data management for their training records.
Hi-SOC will also provide a much more efficient method of developing and transmitting training materials to airports. As of February 15, 2005, the Workforce Performance and Training Office (WPT) must use a high cost and labor-intensive distribution process, which includes the production of computer disk training material (approximately $110,000 per year, with 20 mass distributions.).
As of February 2005, screener training results cannot be collected or aggregated. As a result, the WPT cannot correlate training results down to the individual screener level nor tailor remedial training material at the screener level. Hi-SOC will enable training results data to be aggregated quickly and ensure data is immediately available to local airport screener managers and others to facilitate improvement in screener workforce performance.
- Improve Overall IT and Aviation Security. Because airport computers are not
connected to the TSA network, TSA cannot maintain information security on the
computers or deploy quick security patches to the computers, making these computers
potentially vulnerable to hackers and virus infections. Hi-SOC will provide much better
protection through an overall computer network with secure communications and tested
- Enhance Aviation and Surface Security. High speed connectivity is necessary to deploy and implement fully several security programs that have been or are being developed. These programs include Electronic Surveillance System (a remote camera system for performance monitoring, potential facial recognition technology) and Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). HiSOC will also greatly increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of the Threat Image Projection program (a threat detection training and performance process using a images of prohibited items to simulate a threat) by allowing performance data to be accessed from headquarters and enabling rapid updates of the threat image library, in lieu of manual updates to x-ray machines at airports across the country.
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